Welcome, welcome, welcome. Dillon is out this week (load management), so I’m going to take a stab at the Rewind. I’ll pay homage to DY by getting straight to business.
It Was a Good Week
- The Thunder went 3-0 last week — beating the Lakers, Pistons, and Timberwolves for the active 3-game winning streak.
- OKC moved up into the 6-seed after the string of victories — which would help the Thunder avoid Denver and Golden State in the first round.
- That 6/3 match-up is a much easier route, facing the..
- *checks notes*
- …Houston Rockets in the first round.
- Alright, so nothing is easy and the West is booby-trapped. But this is a retrospective piece. Last week was ignorant bliss.
20-20-21 & Other Westbrook Things
- Russ put 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 21 assists on the Lakers — just the second 20-20-20 stat line in NBA history.
- Perhaps more incredible is he meant to do it. Not like “just competing at a high level” meaning to do it — he actually decided before the game he was going to visit Wilt in basketball’s great beyond.
- So he did. For Nipsey. 20+20+20. If you know, you know.
- Triple-Double Average: Make it three consecutive seasons with a triple-double average for Mr. Westbrook. What a historic little side note that’s been.
- Everyone is so desensitized to hist0ry at this point, folks. Russ was tied with Draymond for “most overrated” in The Athletic’s NBA player poll that came out today. Rodney Dangerfield got more respect.
- Anyway, Westbrook went on to win Player of the Week in the Western Conference — averaging 22 points, 12.7 rebounds, and 17 assists per game in the 3-0 week.
- More importantly, Russ finally — after two years of stalking the perfect opportunity — got his revenge on Zaza Pachulia:
- He warned you:
- And finally, whatever sort of witchcraft this was:
- Jerami Grant over the Thunder’s active 3-game winning streak:
- 18.7 PPG, 55.3% FG, 43% 3P
- The Thunder are a different team when Jerami is making his shots. Makes those low-scoring triple-doubles work.
- Speaking of which, Terrance Ferguson hit 50% of his 3-pointers last week. Don’t you tease us, Terrance. Don’t you do it.
- Paul George just keeps doing what he does. Some think KD will end up over George on the All-NBA First Team, but I don’t see it. He hasn’t been at #MVPG levels down the stretch, but he’s consistently handling business every night.
- Per Royce Young, Andre Roberson is unlikely to return this season. We pretty much knew that at this point, but it’s still a bummer.
- RussellMania running wild:
- The Playoffs are coming.
- Win vs Houston | 85% Confidence: The way I see it, the Thunder thing to do here is beat the Rockets on national television. This has nothing to do with talent, odds, anything like that. Just a gut feeling.
- Loss vs Milwaukee | 85% Confidence: The most Thunder thing imaginable is beating the Rockets on national television — then losing to a Bucks team resting its starters.
- Playoffs: It’s impossible to say who the Thunder will draw in the first round — but Houston, Denver, and Golden State seem like the most likely opponents. Though it’s choosing between the lesser of evils, I think you’d rather face Denver and see how it goes. In any case, we’ll know the first round matchup soon enough.