2 min read

Wednesday Bolts – 1.25.17

Wednesday Bolts – 1.25.17

Eric Freeman of BDL: “Many of these stats depend on getting a lot of clutch minutes to begin

with, which ultimately says more about the Thunder than it does Westbrook. Nevertheless, his clutch plus-minus and raw totals point to a player who takes on great responsibility and ultimately succeeds more than he fails. Here’s hoping that Westbrook gets a few more game-winners so that fans’ impressions catch up with reality.”

Erik Horne: “Donovan had told Steven Adams that if Utah center Rudy Gobert didn’t follow Adams out as he drifted toward midcourt, to set a screen for Westbrook. Gobert hung back, and when Westbrook crossed midcourt, there was Adams to pick George Hill. Hill went left, Westbrook went right and into open territory. Westbrook crossed the 3-point line still free, and the Jazz was scrambling. Gobert, a 7-foot-1 shot-blocking menace, was trying to decide whether to accost Westbrook or not. A step too far would have meant Westbrook knifing into the lane, where all kinds of trouble awaited the Jazz. Gobert prompted Westbrook to pull up for a jumper, and with 1.4 seconds left, Westbrook hit a swisher. Westbrook is good anywhere anytime. But he’s best in the open court. Donovan’s decision was excellent. Give Westbrook as much hardwood to work with as possible.”

Zach Lowe of ESPN.com names his reserves.

Tom Ley of Deadspin: “This certainly has to do with the fact that the Thunder don’t really have any options outside of Westbrook late in games. His usage rate in clutch situations is an almost unbelievable 60 percent, and he’s attempting more field goals and threes than any other player in the league in those minutes. But there’s a difference between being a team’s only option in critical moments and being a good option, and Westbrook is proving to be both. The Thunder are 26-19 overall and 15-10 in games that went into the last five minutes with the teams separated by five points or less. A few other teams have better clutch winning percentages—the Cavs, the Spurs, and the Warriors are among them—but those are super teams. All the Thunder have is Russell Westbrook, and he’s giving them everything he has.”

KD’s godfather was on a podcast and has some interesting comments: “The real reason (he chose the Warriors) is because he wanted to play basketball with people that wanted to give everything they got. It wasn’t so much about going to Golden State to win a championship as 90% of the world thinks. It was about he wanted to play with guys his age that wanted to work hard and play basketball the right way. It was never about the championship.”

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “The Thunder aren’t unstoppable, but they need to be judged within the context of missing Kevin Durant. Many thought this team might miss the playoffs and that is definitely not the case. They are a good team that has great nights. They are vulnerable, with several Achilles heels, but they are also tough, persistent and they play together. Plus, Russell Westbrook is a Death’s Head Machine. Just an incredible season from him. Andre Roberson has quietly been terrific.”