Brett Dawson: “Food needs fetching, and Domantas Sabonis obliges. The life of an NBA rookie
extends beyond playbooks and pick and rolls. When a veteran needs a bag carried or a drink procured, a rookie’s role is to complete the task. And Sabonis, the Thunder’s rookie power forward, does it with no hesitation.”
Erik Horne: “Westbrook lunged at a Blazers’ shooter as the shot went up, waving it off like a swimmer in a breaststroke as the shot clock expired. With the Thunder ahead 94-86, he shifted his feet and accepted the challenge on defense as Aminu drove. When he was called for a foul, he was frustrated, but would soon get his payback courtesy of the crossover. With the Thunder ahead by eight with 45.8 seconds left, the sellout crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena started headed for the exits. It was Super Bowl Sunday, after all. But what will be the better show? Oladipo finished with 24 points and career-high tying 13 rebounds. Andre Roberson (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Steven Adams (13 rebounds) joined Oladipo in double-digit rebounds.”
James Herbert of CBSSports.com: “There’s always a danger that these massively hyped games will disappoint. Maybe all the stuff that makes this interesting — the atmosphere, the crowd, the primetime national TV slot, the stories about Durant and Westbrook’s fractured friendship — won’t matter. Maybe the noise, literal and otherwise, won’t affect Golden State at all. For the mere chance that it is close down the stretch, though, you should be watching.”
Charles Curtis of For the Win: “I’m still not sure it’s time to hit the panic button since we’re still pre-All-Star break. But two times in the span of a month? That’s reason for some concern. Still, there’s time for this pair and the entire roster to figure it all out before things really start to count for the Dubs.”
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “Since the 2011 CBA, we’ve seen a dramatic decrease in meaningful moves at the deadline. A lot of deck chairs on the Titanic have been moved around in late February, but few multi-team, actual impact deals have gone down. Part of that is how the new CBA restructured contracts. Deals are shorter now. Maxes went from six years to five for the same team, four for new teams. That had an impact on the other smaller deals, and now what used to be four-year deals are sometimes three or even two-year deals.
Now, teams are no longer locked into their cap sheets. Contracts are constantly coming off the books, and players are also entering free agency more often, which draws the question: If you can just wait and find other options in the summer, why give up assets now?”