Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook draws rave reviews from TNT, Fox Sports Oklahoma crews

by Mel Bracht Published: May 3, 2014


photo - Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates after a basket during Game 7 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, May 3, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) celebrates after a basket during Game 7 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Saturday, May 3, 2014. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Russell Westbrook’s triple-double drew rave reviews from analysts on both TNT’s and Fox Sports Oklahoma’s Game 7 telecasts Saturday night.

TNT showed a graphic placing Westbrook’s effort with several Hall of Famers who had a triple-double in a Game 7, including Jerry West, Larry Bird, James Worthy and Scottie Pippen and current Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.

“He’s so competitive,” TNT game analyst Steve Kerr said. “He lights the building up. You can’t ever fault the fire and intensity in which he plays.”

After he came from nowhere to swat away a Grizzlies shot, Kerr said, “It seems once a game, Westbrook does something shocking athletically.”

On the postgame show while holding up a copy of the final stat sheet, FSOK studio analyst Nancy Lieberman said if she were coaching, she would not take any other point guard, including Chris Paul or Tony Parker, to lead her team.

“He has the skill-set that no other player in the history of the NBA has had,” Lieberman said. “He’s electric. He plays so hard. He’s a tremendous passer, a willing passer. You’re just not going to muscle him.”

Kerr on point

Working with Marv Albert, Kerr turned in his usual strong comments. It will be a big loss for viewers if he gives up his microphone to take the New York Knicks coaching job.

On Steven Adams’ physical play, which has caused other players to retaliate against him: “The key for him is he initiates, but he never responds. He keeps his composure.”

Later, he said Adams had a great future: “He’s the heir apparent to Kendrick Perkins. He’s going to be the starting center here for a long time.”

On the smart play from Derek Fisher, who drew two fouls from Marc Gasol to end the first half: “Derek Fisher makes a major contribution in a subtle manner.”

He credited fewer turnovers and good ball movement for the Thunder taking over the game in the third quarter: “Patience and ball movement and poise, just taking care of the ball, has given Oklahoma City the groove they needed.”

He noted Durant is more effective when he takes mid-range shots, although KD was 5 of 5 on 3-pointers. “I really like it when Durant makes it his staple, rather than the 3-point shot. The 3-pointer should be the curve ball, the fastball should be the 15- to 18-footer.”

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by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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