2 min read

Monday Bolts – 12.26.16

Monday Bolts – 12.26.16

Paul Flannery of SB Nation: “Of course, those instincts are fortified by hours of film work and


prep, which is not for public consumption. What he does and how he goes about doing it are different things. So, round and round it goes. On the court, Westbrook is a delight. His numbers are eye-popping, but it’s the visceral feel of watching him play that truly sets him apart from everyone else. Off the court, he’s a cypher, at least to everyone outside the Oklahoma City bubble. There is one maddening question at the heart of any Russell Westbrook discussion: is this a good thing? Can your best player soak up so many tangible things in the box score, and still be a positive influence on a winning culture? This is the crux of the Westbrook debate and to the Thunder, the answer is obvious.”

Erik Horne: “With the Thunder ahead by 20 points with under four minutes to go, Russell Westbrook bobbed his shoulders up and down in front of the scorer’s table as Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” played on the loud speakers. It was another gift of a game, a treasure for the fans at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but it was Westbrook who was having more fun than anyone this Christmas. In the Thunder’s 112-100 win over Minnesota, Westbrook missed out on the second Christmas Day triple-double of his career, but finished with 31 points, 15 assists and seven rebounds, leading the Thunder to its third consecutive win.”

What I wrote from last night’s game.

Fred Katz: “Kanter, meanwhile, chugged along all game. He attracted attention early and was distributing from down low. With shooting guard Victor Oladipo, the usual leader of the second unit, out with a sprained right wrist for the seventh consecutive game, Kanter assumed reserve distribution duties. He backed into the post. Once again, he flung passes out of double-teams to teammates, sometimes before the Wolves would even bring a second defender over. It’s become routine over the past few games.”

Russ did not thank Kyrie.

Eric Freeman of Yahoo: “In other words, Westbrook was only referencing Irving if he can see the future (not out of the question) or was celebrating the first Cavs-Warriors game since the NBA Finals by thanking Irving for making the title-winning three-pointer in Game 7. The latter is possible, I suppose, but it would be very late and bizarre given that KD arguably moved from OKC to Oakland because his new team appeared to need him to topple Cleveland. Plus, Westbrook has always publicly stated that he does not really care about Durant’s free-agent decision and is focused on what he can do for the Thunder. There’s no need to fabricate a new controversy involving Westbrook and Durant. Instead, let’s celebrate the Thunder superstar’s terrific performance in his team’s 112-100 win over the Timberwolves. He didn’t post another triple-double, but his 31 points and 15 assists made plenty of noise.”

Ananth Pandian of CBSSports.com: “Westbrook really has no reason to thank Irving, other than to take delight in his former teammate losing in a marquee game. But according to him, he didn’t say that.”