Wednesday Bolts – 12.14.16
Sam Amick of USA Today: “For anyone with even a passing interest in the NBA, it has reached
the point where you have to clear the evening schedule whenever Russell Westbrook is taking the court. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is a one-man highlight show this season, an absolute blur on the court whose speed, skill and high-flying, ferocious style has him threatening to pull off one of the game’s rarest achievements: a triple-double season, otherwise known as Oscar Robertson territory.”
Brett Dawson: “From beyond midcourt, Russell Westbrook fired a fastball to an official under the basket. But the Thunder guard had misjudged, and the ball bounded into the stands at the Moda Center. Westbrook turned to another referee to explain himself, but there was no technical foul. His intent had been apparent. He’d merely misfired. It was hardly the only thing that went wrong on Tuesday for the Thunder, which struggled as much to score as to defend in a 114-95 loss to the Trail Blazers. It was the rare all-systems failure for Oklahoma City, which entered the night having played more close games than any team in the NBA.”
Kevin Durant donated money to Positive Tomorrows again, which is really cool.
Erik Horne: “With Oladipo out, Grant started with Andre Roberson on the wing. The Thunder was able to rest Westbrook on small forward Maurice Harkless at times. For the most part, Westbrook has been OK defensively this season, especially considering how much he’s had to carry offensively. But when the defense got scrambled on Blazers offensive rebounds or when Westbrook simply had to guard Damian Lillard for extended stretches, his defensive effort was lacking.”
This was really interesting on how Kawhi Leonard’s defensive greatness is actually hurting the Spurs.
What’s the holdup with the CBA?
Matt Moore of CBSSports.com had OKC 10th as of yesterday: “OKC has won seven of eight to silence critics. Russell Westbrook’s triple-double streak came to an end against the Celtics, but he also scored the go-ahead bucket and used his insane athleticism to snag a key rebound, then tapped a jump ball ahead to secure victory. Stick that in your “winning plays” pipe and smoke it.”
Marc Stein had OKC 8th: “With 12 triple-doubles in 24 games, Russell Westbrook is on pace for 41 of them this season, which would tie the single-season mark established by the one and only Oscar Robertson in the Big O’s historic 1961-62 season, when Robertson played 79 of 80 games and averaged a triple-double. Our trusty research ace/noted quipster Micah Adams couldn’t resist pointing out that Westbrook’s inability to stretch his streak of consecutive triple-doubles beyond seven by falling short in Sunday night’s win over Boston — combined with Tim Frazier’s triple-double for the victorious Pelicans in Phoenix — means that the rest of the NBA has reclaimed a 14-12 edge over Angry Russ when it comes to triple-doubles for the season.”