Russell Westbrook in sleeves and no sleeves.
P.S. Get well soon, homie.
Showing 11 posts tagged russell westbrook
Russell Westbrook in sleeves and no sleeves.
P.S. Get well soon, homie.
Foot Locker keeps releasing the hits. Like a Bosh.
Some great ads from Foot Locker. First up, Westbrook and Harden in ‘Tear Away’.
Two games in, the only thing not up for debate is that we want five more of these.
Below are some thoughts from an impressive Game 2 road win for Miami.
Waited all night for another hopeless shot of Alonzo Mourning and Pat Riley amongst the Thunder crowd. No luck.
Down 0-1, carrying a 2-9 personal record all-time in the Finals, against a team that last lost at home in April, LeBron and the Heat were facing another referendum on the dynasty that was once promised and still yet to be delivered.
As they have throughout the post-seasont, Miami responded. LeBron — with a huge assist from Wade, Bosh and Battier — hit the game clinching free throws, attacked the basket at will, and left no doubts that there is no clear favorite in this two team race.
They’ll write about, dissect and write some more about the non-foul call at the end. But when you start the game on a 18-2 run on this court, it’s hard to say the end result wasn’t earned.
On OKC’s side, that’s two straight games where Westbrook has attempted more shots than Durant. If Durant is more defined by his efficiency, Westbrook represents volume, and there’s still a better equilibrium to be found for the Thunder’s offense. At this point, I’m not sure if Perkins-Ibaka need to be on the court together given the Heat’s size, and the offense definitely seems to flow better with Harden at point with Westbrook and Durant off the ball.
But these are the questions that will linger with each game, each swing in the series. For the Heat, they go home escaping two days of deconstruction and talks of another Finals demise. For LeBron, that’s two impressive games to start these Finals, he’ll need several more to secure that first title.
For the Thunder, it’s another test in a post-season full of them so far. The fourth quarter comeback should encourage them, but equally alarming is their slow starts.
Two games in between two teams with little separating them, we’ll all tied. The Heat punched back tonight. Now, we await the Thunder’s response.
photo via Ronald Martinez/ Getty Images
Keep up with us during the Finals by following us on Twitter @thetickr
Below are some thoughts on Game 1, first shots to the Thunder.
They don’t hand out no trophies or raise banners for an opening Finals win. But that’s not to say the wins don’t all count the same.
First games are more about setting the tone, establishing storylines, reaffirming beliefs and opening new narratives for further discussion. You don’t reach conclusions — as I learned just a week or so ago, when a Duncan-Garnett face-off was more reality than daydream — but you collect the facts, form your arguments, and move onto round two.
It’s obvious to me that the Thunder have reached a new level — if only because even in victory, even as their best player scores 36 points and their point guard puts up a near triple double — I still wonder where Durant went in the second quarter, I still have doubts about Westbrook’s decision making. Three wins from the championship and I’m still expecting more, because there’s still a better game to be played.
For Miami, the dynamic of The Big Three has now shifted. Wade seems like a superstar in decline, Bosh is taking on the new role as the sixth man, LeBron now supported by an array of three point shooters who proved effective for much of this game. James himself played well, but that lackluster fourth quarter line will help rehash the same old storylines — as they should.
Down 2-1 to Indiana on the road? 40 points, 18 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks. Facing elimination on the road against Boston? 45 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists. Now, staring at a 0-2 deficit against a team that’s yet to lose at home in the playoffs? Recent results show that there’s a huge punch coming from LeBron on Thursday.
For all the talk of the Thunder’s youth and the Heat’s talent, one narrative will crumble by the end of this series. The growing pains may continue in Oklahoma City before a title is won, the championship may still prove elusive for LeBron. Neither ending will surprise anyone, just the suspense of which one of them will prevail hangs in the balance. It’s a two week race to see just which way the scale will tip.
One lap in: advantage Thunder.
photo via NBA Through The Lens
Russell Westbrook sports a teddy bear dress shirt and gold watch during his post-game presser. Not pictured, his red pants.
Sally Jessy Westbrook in the building. via @ArashMarkazi
It seems that we’re headed towards an entire season of whether Durant and Westbrook can co-exist. Last week’s overblown stories about their argument on the bench will not be the last we hear about a fractured relationship, which may be real, may be manufactured, or may eventually be manufactured into something real. But why is there any predisposed expectation that two superstars have to like each other?
Egos are a natural part of being the best, or perceiving yourself as the best. It didn’t matter how much or little Shaq and Kobe got along as long as they were in sync on the basketball court en route to three straight championships. Remember, when the Lakers finally decided to trade Shaq to the Heat, it wasn’t because of their fractured relationship, but because they decided he wasn’t worth the money he wanted in exchange for his declining basketball skills.
And that should be the same for Westbrook and Durant. If they eventually split, it will be because the Thunder come to the conclusion that there isn’t a fit on the court. In the same breath, if the two stars aren’t on speaking terms by the end of the year, I’m sure no one in Oklahoma City will care if they’re lifting the championship trophy.
So let’s keep the focus about how they co-exist on the basketball court, because anything besides that is meaningless.
I’m not sure how many more years Steve Nash will compete at an elite level. Maybe one. Maybe two. Judging by his early numbers this season, maybe none. And that’s why as a basketball fan, I have an urgency to see him on a contender before it’s too late. While he has no plans to demand a trade, from time to time I like to picture Nash on Portland, or New York, and it frustrates me. I don’t want to see him going for a championship in a few years as a passenger, but as a main contributor, as the point guard with the keys to the team.
I’ve always liked the storyline of a veteran player going for his first championship to complete their resume. Look around the league, the main contenders are either teams that have a young core and many years to build towards (Miami, Oklahoma City, Chicago, New York, Memphis, Los Angeles Clippers) or veteran teams who have won titles (Los Angeles Lakers, Boston, San Antonio, Dallas).
And beyond all the reasons why we choose to hate Miami, that’s why it was so fascinating to see the Mavericks win the title last year. There was an urgency to Dirk Nowitzki’s championship run. It was entirely possible that it was Dirk’s last chance at a title. Seeing him make the most of it before the window closed made it that much more thrilling.
Like Dirk last year, or Karl Malone and Gary Payton in Los Angeles, or David Robinson’s first title with San Antonio; whether they succeed or fail, the urgency of the championship chase makes the story that much more fascinating.
I’d like to see Steve Nash star in that storyline before it’s too late.
Take a look at this game log for a particular point guard from last March and April. Who would you guess after scanning the numbers?
The answer is Kyle Lowry, who I think is the most under-rated player in the league. The diminutive point guard has continued his stellar player into this season and will be in the running for the Most Improved Player award.
The NBA is point guard porn right now, and conversations of elite point guards will have to include Lowry if this keeps up.
#0 bringing the Thunder.
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunks the ball after a turnover against the Denver Nuggets in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 17, 2011 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (via Sports Day In Pictures | Denver Post Media Center — Denver, Colorado, Photos and Video)
Russell Westbrook doesn’t fake the funk on this nasty dunk on Shane Battier.