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Thunder-Clippers: Russell Westbrook brushes off criticism for leaving the huddle

THUNDER NOTEBOOK — Charles Barkley criticized Russell Westbrook for leaving the Thunder huddle during a timeout. Said Westbrook, “A lot of things I do seem worse than it is.”
by Anthony Slater Published: May 6, 2014

Westbrook brushes off criticism

During the Thunder’s disheartening loss to the Clippers on Monday night, TNT cameras showed Russell Westbrook strolling away from the Thunder’s timeout huddle and sitting at the end of the bench by himself.

In the postgame show, Charles Barkley and the Inside the NBA crew criticized Westbrook for the act.

On Tuesday, Westbrook, who has done the same thing multiple times throughout his career, brushed it off, saying it’s typically done as a cooling off mechanism.

“Most the times, I’m out the game,” Westbrook said when asked why he leaves the huddle. “Secondly, it’s to take a deep breath, free my mind, collect my thoughts and see what I got to do to help my team. Then I usually come back to the huddle.”

Westbrook said the criticism didn’t bother him.

“A lot of things I do seem worse than it is,” Westbrook said. “You guys worried about that? Hell nah.”

When asked about it, Scott Brooks acted unworried.

“There’s sometimes he’s not in the game, he could be doing certain things like putting the heat pack on,” Brooks said. “…That’s the last thing I’m worried about.”

Paul’s historic night

Chris Paul had a game for the ages Monday night: 32 points, 10 assists, 8-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. But it goes beyond that.

Paul made 12 of 14 shots. He committed two turnovers. He had zero foul shots. That means he had 16 usages. Remember, a usage is a possession used – a shot, a pair of foul shots or a turnover. It’s a possession accounted for.

Paul scored 32 points on 16 usages. That’s historic. That’s 2.0 points for every possession used. I have no idea if it’s an NBA record. But you will be hard-pressed to find better production.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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