“I think it’s fantastic”, D’Antoni said.
Those numbers comprise the Pelicans’ record this season, a record that kept them out of the playoffs while also keeping AD out of the MVP conversation. It’s good for the National Basketball Association. Just five years ago, Westbrook, Harden and Durant were young guns on an Oklahoma City team that lost to Miami in the NBA Finals. Houston did so by blending what it does well with negating in part what makes Oklahoma City so potent, excluding its reliance on Westbrook. However, this is how the NBA Most Valuable Player race would turn out if I were the be-all, end-all voter (it’s a good thing that I’m not). He did average over 36 points per contest, but was limited to 9 rebounds and 9 assists. He averaged a triple double for the season.
Russell Westbrook elected rest would be best Tuesday in Minnesota, where he missed his first game of the year.
“I didn’t have the personnel that I need”, Harden said Friday. What Westbrook (31.6 points, 10.4apg, 10.7rpg) and Harden (29.1ppg, 11.2apg, 8.1rpg) achieved during the regular season was nothing short of remarkable, and the debate has been heated and diverse on just which player has made the biggest imprint and deserves to hoist that MVP gong. Roberson is one of the league’s best perimeter defenders and if he can impact some of Harden’s fluid effortlessness, the series has potential to go down as a classic. Houston will counter by trying to force OKC to just play one big rather than two.
“That’s up to coach”, Westbrook said of his minutes increasing. “It’s a great experience”.
Of course it’s Houston Rockets vs. Guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum will be revved up to take on one of the few combos better than them, but the uncertainty around Jusuf Nurkic’s leg injury and return temper the size advantage Portland could have exploited. Now facing off in the first round of the playoffs, the two superstars will look to extend their historically great seasons for a few more weeks. Mike D’Antoni was initially thought to be a questionable hire for a franchise that had a number of flaws but has turned out to be just the right man for the job in leading an impressive turnaround. The team scored the second-most points per game behind the Golden State Warriors at 115.3, which makes them a nightmare for the Thunder’s defence. “It will be fun”. This is the only series I tempted to pick as a sweep, but I’ll go Wiz in 5.
Although the Thunder have regressed and will face their main weakness – a three-point shooting team – in the first round of the playoffs, there’s been plenty for the fan base to cheer about. “What they do well, where they’re ranked in the league in offensive rebounding, which means you’ve got to rebound”.
And 14 games where he scored at least 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
But as tough as the Grizzlies have played the Spurs this season, there’s a reason that the Spurs are 8-0 in their last eight playoff games against Memphis. However, according to FiveThirtyEight.com, Curry’s value can’t be measured fully using traditional stats (though his 324 long balls are second in National Basketball Association history to the outrageous 402 he made last year).
He takes pride in being a spark off the bench.
For the Rockets, their gameplan should be simple enough: let Westbrook get his. “If our first unit gets the lead, we want to (extend) the lead even more”. On that night, we’ll be able to become retroactively offended for one of the candidates in this series.