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Russell Westbrook

  1. Orlando is in trouble now because it’s not good at drafting

    May 14, 2012, 6:38 PM EDT

    Miami Heat v Orlando Magic

    More and more research is showing, if you want to build a sustainable winner in the NBA you need to do it on draft day. Look at the teams still playing. Miami had to draft Dwyane Wade, which made it possible to bring in Shaq to get them one title (and LeBron James doesn’t come…

  2. Lakers-Thunder Western Conference Semifinals Preview: No longer a feel good story

    May 14, 2012, 4:42 PM EDT

    Russell Westbrook, Matt Barnes

    Two years ago, the Oklahoma City Thunder faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the first-round of the 2010 NBA Playoffs. It was supposed to be a nice learning experience for a team on the rise, a quick lesson from the reigning champs as to how the playoffs work. Instead, the world was introduced to the…

  3. Thunder’s Harden named Sixth Man of Year on Thursday

    May 10, 2012, 4:18 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Five

    UPDATE 4:18 pm: The NBA has made it official, James Harden is your runaway winner of the Sixth Man of the Year award. Of the 118 ballots cast 115 had Harden No. 1, the other three had Philadelphia’s Lou Williams in the top spot. As I said below, those three people should have to explain…

  4. Dirk Nowitzki: “We need some guys that can make plays”

    May 7, 2012, 9:37 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks' Nowitzki walks off the court during a timeout against the Oklahoma City Thunder during their NBA Western Conference quarter-final playoff basketball game in Dallas

    We already talked about this over the weekend — Oklahoma City sweeping Dallas out of the playoffs was the end result of moves owner Mark Cuban made last summer. (Well, that and Oklahoma City is a very good team.) They didn’t have enough support for Dirk Nowitzki anymore (and the big German didn’t play to…

  5. James Harden sparks Thunder comeback to eliminate Dallas

    May 5, 2012, 11:12 PM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four

    I’d say that the torch in the West has been passed, but that’s not what it felt like. It felt like James Harden and the Oklahoma City Thunder grabbed the torch and ran off with it. Harden scored seven in a row — and had 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter —…

  6. NBA Playoffs: Jason Terry is getting very superstitious in hopes of avoiding being swept

    May 5, 2012, 3:12 PM EDT

    NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks

    Losing a few games in the NBA Playoffs can lead to one’s mind becoming a bit restless as he tries to figure out how to right the wrongs. Dallas Mavericks guard Jason Terry may have taken this to the extremes, however, as he tries to ensure the defending champions aren’t swept Saturday night by the…

  7. Anthony Davis, James Harden added to Team USA training camp

    May 3, 2012, 6:59 PM EDT

    Kentucky Wildcats' Davis goes to the hoop against Kansas Jayhawks' Withey during the second half of their men's NCAA Final Four championship college basketball game in New Orleans

    Anthony Davis could go straight from winning a national championship with Kentucky to winning an Olympic gold medal with Team USA. Davis, along with Oklahoma City guard James Harden, has been added to the pool of potential candidates that could be selected to represent the United States in London, USA Basketball President Jerry Colangelo announced.…

  8. Wall, Irving named to Team USA’s “Select Team”

    May 3, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

    Cavaliers Irving reacts to making a three point basket in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge game during the NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando

    From Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will have a busy July representing team and country in Las Vegas. The presumptive NBA Rookie of the Year not only will lead the Cavs’ summer-league squad, but also help prepare the U.S. Olympic basketball club as it readies…

  9. Dallas will figure out how to close out Game 3 or its season will close out

    May 3, 2012, 5:14 PM EDT

    Dirk Nowitzki

    It was what made Dallas’ run to the championship last year so special — at the end of games they always seemed to make the right play, Dirk Nowitzki always seemed to hit the shot. In two games against Oklahoma City, it has been the opposite. In Game 2, Nowitzki had a wide-open look at…

  10. Wednesday And-1 links: Is Rondo as Celtics leader a good thing?

    May 2, 2012, 10:53 AM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks - Game One

    Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points. • Rajon Rondo is the future leader of the Celtics. Is that a good…

  11. Report: USA to add players to candidate pool for Olympics

    May 2, 2012, 9:29 AM EDT

    Demarcus Cousins

    Following a rash of injuries — and whatever happened to Lamar Odom — the original pool of 20 players USA Basketball was going to choose from to form its Olympic team this summer is down to 15. The waters are getting a little shallow with injuries to Derrick Rose, Chauncey Billups, LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight…

  12. This year Thunder closing out close wins, up 2-0 on Mavericks

    May 1, 2012, 2:53 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder- Game Two

    Last season in the Western Conference Finals, the Mavericks and Thunder played each other close, but when it came time to execute under pressure at the end it was Dallas making the plays. Dirk Nowitzki was a legendary player who could not seem to miss. This year the torch has been passed. For the second…

  13. USA Basketball may look at new players after Rose injury

    Apr 30, 2012, 8:13 AM EDT

    Rose injury

    Back in January USA Basketball released a list of 20 players, a pool from which the United States basketball team for the London Olympics would be chosen. But due to injuries, that list is down to 15. Derrick Rose’s ACL injury puts him on the shelf, along with Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Chauncey Billups.…

  14. Derrick Rose’s injury punch to gut of Chicago, opens doors elsewhere

    Apr 28, 2012, 8:16 PM EDT

    Bulls Rose is helped off the court after getting hurt during their NBA quarter-final playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago

    Derrick Rose’s injury sucks. He is out for the playoffs with a torn ACL and there is no other word but sucks to do it justice. (Well, other words I can run here, anyway.) It also changes the playoff picture in the East completely. First and foremost, this just sucks for fans of basketball who…

  15. Your PBT Saturday Morning Opening Playoff Day Viewing Guide

    Apr 28, 2012, 9:21 AM EDT

    Miami Heat v New York Knicks

    It’s time. The NBA Playoffs begin Saturday as 16 teams begin their challenge for a championship. OK, only about seven of them think they actually have a chance. But still. Here’s what’s on tap today. 1 p.m. EST: Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls. The Sixers actually do really match up better with Chicago than Miami,…

  16. My (hypothetical) end of season awards ballot

    Apr 28, 2012, 8:01 AM EDT

    Miami Heat's LeBron James listens to the national anthem before their NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Miami, Florida April 19

    It’s end of season award time and… well, I don’t have an official ballot. But not being official never stopped me before. So here would be my votes for the winners, plus some people I also would have put on the list. Note that the one exception is the Most Improved Player category, an award…

  17. PBT Playoff Preview: Thunder vs. Mavericks

    Apr 27, 2012, 2:20 AM EDT

    Kevin Durant

    Season Records: Oklahoma City (47-19, 2 seed) vs. Dallas (38-28, 7 seed) Season Series: OKC 3-1 Offense/Defense Rankings (points per 100 possessions): Offense: OKC 107.2 (2nd in NBA) vs. DAL 101.1 (20th in NBA) Defense: OKC 100 (9th in NBA) vs. DAL 98.6 (8th in NBA) Three Key Thunder: Kevin Durant: Durant just locked up…

  18. Andrew Bynum skipping Olympics… so who is in for USA?

    Apr 23, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

    Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers

    When Dwight Howard went under the knife and sacrificed his summer, the speculation began — who gets his spot on Team USA for the London Olympics this summer? It pretty much guaranteed that Knicks big man Tyson Chandler is in now. He was on the bubble before, but now he is a must as the…

  19. Lakers get huge double overtime win over Thunder…. without Harden

    Apr 22, 2012, 9:47 PM EDT

    Kobe Bryant, Derek Fisher, Russell Westbrook

    The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday, 112-106. In five years, that’s all that will remain from this game, in searched box scores. Those are the facts. But what happened is such a bigger story. I’ve been sitting here struggling to find a way to accurately portray this game. Can you deny…

  20. Five things to watch: Thunder-Lakers

    Apr 22, 2012, 11:44 AM EDT

    Russell Westbrook, Matt Barnes

    The playoff race is heating up and with the Lakers battling for the division and the third seed and the Thunder haggling with the Spurs over the top seed in the West, Sunday’s game is the rare late season meeting with meaning. The Lakers need to get a win to lock in no-worse than fifth…

  21. For second time in a week, Clippers beat Thunder. Hmmm….

    Apr 17, 2012, 2:41 AM EDT

    Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Clippers

    When the Clippers beat Oklahoma City Thunder last Wednesday, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were 2-for-12 shooting in the fourth quarter. In the second half Monday night, Durant and Westbrook were a combined 1-for-13 shooting and the Clippers pulled away with an 18-4 run in the fourth quarter to win 92-77. The OKC loss combined…

  22. Video: In other news, Russell Westbrook is not human

    Apr 14, 2012, 9:00 AM EDT

    Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant

    Oh, good gravy. It’s the extension that sells this one. Grabs it at the furthest point of the cockback, and then the total follow through in one motion. That is not basketball. That is violent art with some props.

  23. Video: Chris Paul’s game-winning drive and layup

    Apr 12, 2012, 1:56 AM EDT

    Chris Paul

    This play is so fantastically Chris Paul. He dribbles out as much clock as he can, not starting his move until there is 5 seconds left. He goes away from the pick so as not to go into the trap. He gets around his man then makes a little ball fake like he might pass…

  24. Who gets the most “hockey assists” in the NBA?

    Apr 11, 2012, 4:59 PM EDT

    Derrick Rose, Paul Pierce

    In the NBA, the guy who makes the pass to set up a shooter gets an assist. But often you will see a point guard drive and draw the defense, kick out to a guy at the arc, who will then see the defense rotate and make a pass to a second open shooter who…

  25. Baseline to Baseline recaps: Fear Memphis, for they are a force

    Apr 10, 2012, 9:24 AM EDT

    Caron Butler, Marc Gasol

    What you missed while marveling at Japanese beer technology. Grizzlies 94, Clippers 85: Why does everyone fear the Grizzlies right now? Because they have a huge front line with skill. Because they have very good wing players. Because they have depth. Because they have won 8 of 10 and that includes victories over the Lakers,…

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