BREAKING: Russell Westbrook Traded to Houston

For Chris Paul, two first round picks, and an additional two first round pick swaps, Russell Westbrook will be playing in Texas next year wearing that Rocket red. This brings Sam Presti’s acquired picks via trade up to 12 following the PG, Grant, and (now) Russ trades. If you’re keeping track, Sam Presti has now traded two All-Stars on bloated contracts (with two good shoulders and one good leg between them) for 11 first round picks, an expiring contract, an All-Star, and an amazing young asset that has the potential to be an All-Star.

Wish I had a media vote to give Sam Presti for GM of the year.

NBA Playoffs Take Ratings Hit… But Are Better Than Ever

Recently saw that the ratings have hit a viewership dropoff akin to when Jordan retired both times. Is this because LeBron isn’t in the playoffs? Of course it is! However, I am stuck here saying this has been one of my favorite playoffs, and there are a host of reasons…

The West has had a shockingly bad playoff stretch. The Rockets and my beloved Jazz was horrible to watch. Watching the Clips take swings at the Warriors is cute, but futile. The Spurs and Nuggets is great, but it is just painful to watch the horrible shooting both teams are displaying currently. The best series is the Thunder-Trailblazers, and that is solely for the reason Dame is big brother-ing Russ out there. Or is it because Russ and the Thunder can’t hit a three if their life depended on it?

It doesn’t matter, since the East is where the action has been. Sure, the Bucks-Pistons and Raptors-Magic series were predictable in their outcomes. And the Celtics-Pacers game was disappointing without Dipo suiting up. Yet the best series of the first round goes to the 76ers-Nets matchup, where the Night King himself Jared Dudley has cemented himself as the Meme God of the playoffs.

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Even though the Nets may be down 3-1 in the series right now, Game 5 is worth your attention. With Game 4 resulting in Jared Dudley taking swipes at both Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler, who knows what J-Dud has in store for us. However, he is not the only player to get ejected…

The real reason I am writing this is to point out why many around NBA media/Twitter are saying this is an amazing first round right now, and I think it is stemming from the animosity players are beginning to show again. Last year, there were 3 ejections in the entire playoffs. Before Sunday’s games, there were 7. AND THIS IS THE FIRST ROUND! I am getting some serious 90’s animosity levels on the court right now, and it is absolutely amazing to regain that aspect of entertainment for the NBA again.

Philly.com

Can’t wait for the Game 5’s to roll around. Might even make/buy some popcorn for this.

Westbrook and Lillard Scuffle As Paul George Proves His Shoulder Is Fine

Paul George, AKA Playoff P, has been struggling with a shoulder injury for the better part of the month. Judging from his 4/15 3PT shooting performance in game 1 of this year’s Western Conference First Round, it was not getting any better. Even Dr. Tracy McGrady M.D. (made-up doctorate) thought he had a torn labrum. Game 2 has seen a completely different Playoff P though. Watch:

Maybe a little discomfort, but George is showing no signs of stopping.

So disrespectful on so many levels. Throws Harkless to the ground as he drains the step back, then the OKC bench encourages him to get up. Ruthless. But it’s a Western Conference Playoff game, of course, it is going to get chippy. It finally came to a head right before halftime.

Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard, the two best players in this matchup, have been tasked with guarding each other. Two big egos going after each other every play was surely going to spark some type of temper flair.

This honestly makes me wonder if these guys know there are cameras on them at all times. You can’t just continually push somebody after the whistle and expect nothing back. And on top of that, you can’t be so obvious with your flops with the officials right in front of you. Russ threw himself to the ground like a 3 year old having a tantrum. Luckily for them, no fouls were call due to the scuffle.

Russell Westbrook on Karl-Anthony Towns and Dario Saric: “Get to the F****** Playoffs Before You Speak to Me.”

Yes, that is a real quote. Russell Westbrook actually said to Karl-Anthony Towns and Dario Saric that they need to make the playoffs before they talk to him. I know this was trash talk during a game, but at least get your facts straight… and be able to back it up.

ClutchPoints

This is wildly bananas for so many reasons.

First, both of these guys made the playoffs LAST YEAR, but let’s start with KAT. Towns led his mediocre T-wolves team to the 8 seed in the Western Conference. Not an easy thing to do when he was the team’s only top-20 player. Of course, they got bounced first round by the Rockets. This was hardly KAT’s fault though. He had 10+ rebounds every game and 3 double-doubles in the series. They even took a game from the Rockets. I blame Jimmy Butler for the poor team performance.

Next, Dario Saric not only went to the post season, but actually won a playoff series last year. The 76ers beat the Heat 4-1 in the first round before getting bounced by the Celtics.

I really don’t know what Westbrook was talking about here. This is like people telling Tom Brady he isn’t the best when all he has ever done is win championships. Just utter buffoonery. KAT and Saric meet all the criteria that Westbrook has put out there.

Also, how can Westbrook even say this? He has not made it out of the first round since Durant left OKC. Why in the world would he think that he can talk smack to someone who made it further than he did?

Even “Playoff P” could not help him in the get out of the first round. I expect the same this year.

Russ Westbrook Says He Needs Protection From a Fan

Late last night, when the Thunder went up against the Nuggets, Russell Westbrook was assaulted by a fan. He has been advocating since the incident for more strict restrictions on fans, saying that he is helpless since “what is he gonna do, jump in [the stands].”

This is all well and good if it wasn’t for the fact that the fan that “assaulted” Russ was…well, like 12 years old. Yes, Russ is mad that a 12 year old stood up and touched his shoulder during a game. Of course, I agree in the sense that there needs to be more protection from fans on the player side since this opens a big hole in the NBA’s stance.

Youtube

Normally, a fan will receive a lifetime ban. But, this 12 year old fan will not receive a lifetime ban. However, it is becoming more and more apparent with fan’s actions this year that players are not safe at all. Multiple fans are taking actions (like the infamous fat, old white dude wearing Donovan Mitchell’s jersey at the Jazz game) that are proving as distracting and interfering with the game. I do not know if the refs are in charge of this, but this is becoming a tantamount issue. The NBA should address this issue quickly, just as quickly as the “unrelated timing” of the draft age change and Zion’s injury.

More Drama in the NBA Featuring Russell ‘Westbrick’

In what can be described as amazing soap opera material, Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder squad went up against Dame Lillard and the Portland Trailblazers. Unsurprisingly, both players started chirping at each other, resulting in both Russ and Dame trying to prove that they are the better at trash talking. Hilariously, Russ begins by saying that he has “been busting your [referring to Dame] a** for years.” In response, the Blazers called him ‘Westbrick.’

…I mean, this is amazing. Russell Westbrook is having one of his worst career years shooting the ball, and this is also happening when his usage rate is reaching an astronomical level. The amount of pettiness that has occurred is astounding, especially since the new name is slightly easier to say than his actual name.

Just in case you want to catch the sure to be drama filled next meeting, they both play each other 2/11 in Oklahoma City. Cannot WAIT to see what is in store.

Russ (24 Assists) and Aldridge (56 Points) Both Post Career Nights in 2OT Thriller

True to this headline, this game was a shootout. While I unfortunately fell asleep shortly before Jerami Grant forced double overtime off of a Russ lob, it was a thoroughly entertaining game, showing just how good both teams are. It is slightly weird to see how the Thunder and Spurs have swapped roles, with the Thunder focusing on the defensive end and Spurs focusing on the offensive end. However, both Paul George and Russ made their cases in their respective Player of the Year races (DPOTY and MVP respectively), Paul locking up DeRozan and Russ going for a monster 24p-24a-13r triple double. Of course, Aldridge cannot (and was not) over-shadowed by this, shouldering the Spurs offense by posting and INSANE 56 point night, going 20-33 from the field and a perfect 16-16 from the free throw line.

This game saw a triple double (OKC) and three double doubles (2 OKC, 1 SAS) occur, and saw the Spurs break a three point record. Three players on the Spurs shot 100% from three (SG MArco Belinelli, PG/SG Bryn Forbes, SF/PF Davis Bertans), and if it wasn’t for Patty Mills (3-4) and Derrick White (1-3) missing a few, then they would have been perfect.

Highly recommend catching the next couple games and seeing how each respond to this game. The Spurs now sit at the 6th seed, snapping a losing streak. They continue the lighting they have caught in a bottle since the start of December. The Thunder, on the other hand, continue to struggle since the start of December, whose losing streak sits at three games. They have descended a bit in the standings, but now sit at the third seed, and may possibly be overtaken by the white-hot Trail Blazers (currently on a three game win streak). Both teams play each other tomorrow (1/12) at 8pm. Grab some buds and beers, this should be lit my dudes.