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Oklahoma City Thunder: ESPN's Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy enjoy 'gritty, physical game'

REMOTE PATROL — ESPN/ABC’s No. 1 broadcast team of Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy marveled about the thrilling Game 3 of the Thunder-Clippers series with the Thunder pulling away late on a 3-point shot by Russell Westbrook and a jumper from Kevin Durant.
by Mel Bracht Published: May 10, 2014

*On Thunder general manager Sam Presti’s player evaluation skills: “How good of a drafter has Sam Presti been.”

*On Westbrook’s 10th assist in Game 2 that he and Breen felt wasn’t deserved: “I wonder why statistians at home feel the need to pad stats like that.”

*On Miami cruising through the Eastern Conference playoffs: “I don’t think it’s good for Miami not to be challenged.”

Short takes

*In the third quarter, Clippers star Blake Griffin ended up with a bloodied nose while going against Serge Ibaka, but neither Van Gundy nor former NBA referee Steve Javie thought Ibaka fouled Griffin. “I really felt like Ibaka played excellent defense and Griffin goes into his elbow.”

*Breen on Thunder center Steve Adams: “In a short time in his rookie year, he’s become one of the guys opponents hate.”

*Breen on Westbrook: “Russell Westbrook is absolutely breath-taking to watch… Sometimes exasperating.”


ESPN analysts Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose were late getting back to studio for the start of the show after watching the first half at Staples Center. Simmons said he thought both teams feed off the crowd. “There was a real energy. I enjoyed that.”

Doug Collins noted both are good defensive teams, but were ineffective against each other.

Simmons questioned a Clippers’ defensive move: “One adjustment I didn’t like was putting Jamal Crawford on Kevin Durant. That didn’t work.”