Does Russell Westbrook Help or Hurt the Thunder?

Russell Westbrook, by plenty of traditional basketball measures, is one of the biggest superstars in terms of production that the league has ever seen. But by a lot of those same measures, he’s also the most selfish stathound who ever cost his team wins by trying to do everything himself, like the rich man’s Lance Stephenson or, considering I’ve repeatedly called him “Dollar Store Westbrook” when writing about him, Lonzo Ball. The question at issue here is whether everything Westbrook does right—and when you average a triple double in two consecutive seasons when only one player in league history, Oscar …

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Carmelo Anthony Killed Paul George’s Career

It is the general consensus in Indiana at least that “the Pacers won the Paul George trade.” After all, the Pacers got Victor Oladipo, who didn’t need anyone to drop out due to injury in order to get into the All-Star Game. They got Domantas Sabonis, who went from statistically one of the league’s worst rookies in 2016-17 to an emerging star at center in 2017-18. And they also got a team that won 48 games in the regular season, gave Cleveland their toughest test on the road to the Finals (sorry Boston, you guys had home court advantage and …

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Breakfast Special: LeBron James, the One True GOAT

How do you even stop LeBron James when he’s determined to win a game and indeed a series by himself? LeBron had 44 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, hit 14-of-24 from the field and 15-of-15 from the line, plus the shot that for all intents and purposes ended this first-round series with the Pacers as the Cavaliers won Game 5 98-95: .@KingJames WINS IT AT THE BUZZER! 🚨👌🚨@cavs win 98-95 and take a 3-2 series lead!#NBAPlayoffs | #AllForOne pic.twitter.com/MhBB5YeoQA — NBA TV (@NBATV) April 26, 2018 Cleveland hit 26-of-27 from the free throw line as a team. There’s your analysis. …

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Breakfast Special: Carmelo Anthony’s Career Is Dead

Carmelo Anthony is washed up. After a dismal regular season in which he became one of only three players to play at least 2500 minutes with a negative Value Over Replacement Player (Andrew Wiggins and Harrison Barnes were the other two), Anthony has been a non-factor in the playoffs as the Thunder have fallen down 3-1 to the Jazz. Utah looks to become only the second road team in the first round of the playoffs since they went to a best-of-seven in 2003 to close out a five-game series on the road; the 2014 Wizards were the first, winning Game …

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2018 NBA Playoff Tiebreak Scenarios: Last Day of the Season!

Wednesday night, the NBA tips off a slate of games to close out the regular season. The playoffs are finally upon us. And the standings, especially in the Western Conference? They’re still a hot mess, with every slot from 3 through 9 up for grabs. Only the Rockets and Warriors are locked into their seed; everyone else is fighting for position. Meanwhile, things are a bit quieter in the East, where the Raptors (1), Celtics (2), and Pacers (5) are locked into their seeds, while Philly and Cleveland are fighting for 3 and 4 and the Wizards, Heat, and Bucks …

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Sorting Out 2018 NBA West Playoffs Tiebreakers, Part 1

Welcome back to our efforts to sort out the giant NBA car crash that is the playoff race and all the potential tiebreakers. I’m trying to make this as complete as possible while also making it plausible. Sadly, when Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and the Trail Blazers lost to the Grizzlies on Wednesday, what was already a mess with seven teams all alive to go anywhere from fourth through tenth just became six teams within four games of each other from three through eight. The East at least had two distinct groups around a common linchpin—the Cavs-Sixers-Pacers 3-4-5 race and …

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Carmelo Anthony 2018: Is He Any Good?

Carmelo Anthony used to be good. He used to put up spectacular numbers on some truly awful Knicks teams, and before that he developed a reputation as a guy who couldn’t get the job done in the playoffs because apparently he was expected to turn the Denver Nuggets into champions by himself and with famous playoff choker George Karl as his coach (this site is based in Seattle. Where were you on May 7, 1994?) When sitting down to write this, my first thought was “is Carmelo Anthony washed up?”, and I would look at all the evidence to arrive …

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Breakfast Special: A Glorious Day Without Tanking

Hey you. Reader. Did you spend Sunday watching college basketball, trying to fool yourself into believing that it’s better than the pros and a more pure form of the sport and whatever other trash we dredge up before a team that I legit confused with Maryland-Eastern Shore but was actually Maryland-Baltimore County busted everyone’s bracket like for real we didn’t even get past Friday before every single entry in every single bracket tournament was, like that jackpot in the Powerball a couple of years ago that rolled up to $1.4 billion because everyone played when it was $900 million and …

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Breakfast Special: Panic Time in San Antonio

It wasn’t long ago that the San Antonio Spurs were the solid third seed in the Western Conference, a team that even without Kawhi Leonard looked like they were well on their way to a 19th straight 50-win season. As of this writing, the Spurs are no longer a playoff team. The Rockets, behind 28 points on 6-of-17 shooting from James Harden (yes, really; he was 14-of-14 from the line), beat San Antonio 109-93 to take their 19th win in their last 20 games. Houston has a reputation, and a deserved one, for living and dying by the three-pointer, and …

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Russell Westbrook is Oklahoma City’s biggest problem

When is a great game not a great game? Russell Westbrook puts up fantastic counting stats; after averaging a triple-double in 2017, he’s got 18 triple-doubles this year and sits just 25 rebounds short of averaging another one for the season. Trouble is, he’s also shooting the Thunder out of games, and especially lately, his downright atrocious shooting has either caused a loss or led to something like the game against Sacramento last week in which Westbrook hit only four shots on 15 tries, his insistent bricklaying leading to Oklahoma City winning by just three points. Since January 28, he’s …

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