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.
Michael Jordan’s 69-point game against the Cavaliers in 1990? Jordan had 50 possessions for his 69 points.
Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against the Raptors in 2006? Kobe had 59 possessions for his 81 points.
David Robinson’s 71-point game in 1994? The Admiral had 61 possessions for his 71 points.
Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in 1962? Wilt had at least 79 possessions (turnovers weren’t kept as an official stat back then).
Closer to home, Dirk Nowitzki’s 48-point game against the Thunder in Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference Finals? Dirk made 12 of 15 shots and all 24 of his foul shots. He had 29 possessions for his 48 points.
None of those epic games approach 2.0 points per possession. Chris Paul was something extra special in Game 1.
Durant on cover of NBA2K15
It's safe to say it was a pretty good day for Kevin Durant on Tuesday.
The Oklahoma City Thunder forward not only won his first NBA Most Valuable Player award, but also scored the cover of hit video game NBA2K15.
"2 life goals in the same day! So grateful.," Durant posted to his Instagram account Tuesday afternoon with a photo of himself at the MVP ceremony, as well as a photo of himself on the video game cover.
NBA2K15 will reportedly be released Oct. 7.
Fallin proclaims May 6
‘Kevin Durant Day’
Governor Mary Fallin proclaimed May 6 “Kevin Durant Day” in Oklahoma.
Fallin took to Twitter for the announcement shortly before the press conference to unveil Durant as the 2013-14 NBA Most Valuable Player.
“For KD's service to the state & his actions both on & off the court, today will now be Kevin Durant Day in Oklahoma!,” Fallin’s Twitter account posted.
By Anthony Slater, Berry Tramel and Erik Horne