Westbrook comes to play against the league’s best, and he’ll make certain that the Thunder won’t go away quietly. “They’re a great offensive team and in transition they do a great job of getting threes”.
For the Oklahoma City Thunder and the enigmatic Westbrook, the plan is far simpler: get Russell the ball and get out of the way. Their reps in big-time moments against prime-time players when the lights come on will certainly be a factor. When applied and focused on the defensive end, James is inarguably one of the best defenders in the league and can defend all five positions on the floor.
The impossibly athletic, incredibly driven, hyper-criticised point guard also surpassed (by one) the Big O’s record for triple-doubles in a season, with 42. The side has lost away from home in two or more successive games on six separate occasions, proving the how hard road trips have been for Billy Donovan’s men.
So who have you got in the Spurs’ first round matchup and how many games do you think it will take? Enes Kanter off the bench.
In many ways, Westbrook represents the old-school mentality toward award season: Go for history, team success be damned. Houston is a better shooting team than Oklahoma City so offensive rebounds are going to be very important for the Thunder. Mbah a Moute only scores 6.2 points per game, adding two rebounds and less than one assist. Beverley is going to have to just play tight on him in transition and perhaps be ready for Westbrook to blow past him and make him look silly. How can the Thunder play its best brand of basketball?
Deadlocked at the intermission, the Rockets drilled four consecutive 3-pointers to open the third quarter, seizing a 72-67 lead.
Date/Time: Sunday April 16th, 2017.
Of course it’s Houston Rockets vs.
Golden State’s Steve Kerr, Washington’s Scott Brooks and Boston’s Brad Stevens are all very strong candidates for the award, but none of those coaches have accomplished anything close to the kind of job D’Antoni has in bringing his team from the infighting and apathy of last year’s Rockets to the excellence of this year’s version.
It’s a dream scenario and the Houston Rockets made sure to seize the opportunity.
Houston exceeded expectations this season.
But with all the help Harden will have (think Trevor Ariza, Patrick Beverley, Ryan Anderson, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, Lou Williams and Nene), Westbrook needs assistance.
While breaking Oscar Robertson’s record of 41 triple-doubles in a season is obviously the highlight of the year, Westbrook notched a number of fantastic records under his belt this year. Kawhi Leonard’s been in the conversation all season, but he’s more of a dark horse candidate than anything else.
Yes, you read that right: Russell Westbrook deserves the MVP award. The Admiral averaged 27.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, 3.2 blocks, and 2.9 assists per game.
FANTASTIC FORWARDS: James and Paul George have had tremendous battles in the both the regular season and postseason. In each game during the regular season, Westbrook outscored Harden.
In only 25 minutes per game, Embiid averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, all while giving Philadelphia the first breath of basketball hope it’s felt since “The Process” began. “You’ve got to protect the 3-point line”.
Everything in Houston goes through Harden. He’s a crucial cog in this match-up as he’ll take on Westbrook and try to limit his productivity.
Then again, it would be near impossible to argue any of those three are the single best player in the league, a view many people believe the MVP should hold.
The expectations for post-Durant OKC were never great and it reflects on their ATS record of 45-36-1. The game was tied at 116-116 with 1:49 to go. They managed to either slightly beat the spread, or lose by much, so they’ve won more games than they should by their unimpressive point differential.
“There’s been 1-8 upsets”, Kidd said.
While there are cases for the candidacy of several players around the league, there is consensus around four names that have thrilled, stunned, impressed and amazed observers from the first jump ball back in October. Still, it’s a bad streak.
On the opening day of the postseason, the Thunder had a chance to address the big picture.
Houston wasn’t supposed to be good this season, let alone rise to a top-three seed in the West.
The Rockets offense is a behemoth to overcome, and this is where they will have a significant edge on the Thunder. Still, it’s the first game. Total is well set.