Some teams are already past the 41 game mark making week 12 the halfway point of the season. A lot went down this week in the association, most of which was off the court.
Russell Westbrook Triple Double Update
Russell Westbrook recorded his 20th triple double for the season (he had 18 last year) on Sunday night, making him the 3rd player ever to do so (Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robinson). Below are his updated stats, still averaging a triple double midway through January.
The man with a weird beard continues to play at the highest level. He has accumulated 12 triple doubles of his own this season, and joined MJ, Westbrook, and Pete Maravich this week as the only players to have back to back 40 point triple doubles. He also became the first player in NBA history to reach 1000 points and 500 assists in the first 43 games of a season. If Westbrook wasn’t on a Durant hate filled mission, Harden would be leading the MVP talk.
The man with the receding hairline moved up to 15th all-time in career assists making him the first player ever to be in the top 10 in points and top 15 in assists for a career. It’s fairly ironic that just a few days later he recorded 15 assists on the road in a game for the first time in his career.
The man who was the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft (first Canadian to go first overall) was cut by the worst team in the league, the Brooklyn Nets this week. In his less than 4 seasons in the league, Bennett played in 151 total games for 4 different teams; the Cavs, Timberwolves, Raptors, and the Nets. In those 151 games he averaged 12.6 minutes per game, 4.4 points, and 3.1 rebounds on 39.2 shooting percentage. I kind of feel bad for Bennett as he is widely considered as the biggest draft bust in NBA history and this recent release solidifies that fact. It is reported that he signed with a team in Turkey to play in the Euro League. It’s fairly common for players to go play overseas, improve as a player and get resigned by an NBA team (Michael Beasley, Hassan Whiteside) but the 23 year old Bennett has a long journey to make it back to the NBA.
The man with a lot of money is also known to have a foul mouth. Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks can often be seen sitting in the front row at Mavs games yelling at refs on the court for their bad calls. I knew that he did this but never thought anything of it until this week with it was released the members of the NBRA (national Basketball Referee Association) are worried about the influence Cuban has on the refs. They believe the NBA allows him to berate officials in an attempt to change their calls later in the game and that he is trying to get involved in the employment practices of NBA refs.
Cuban does get fined for his tirades but he often pays double the amount of the fine to prove that he doesn’t care. The ref association believes that means he has “fine me I’m rich” money and won’t stop his actions. Cuban’s response to these allegations weren’t surprising, he said “If an official can be influenced by pressure from anyone, they should not be in the NBA.” In regards to the employment of refs, Cuban stated he wants the NBA to do everything they can to hire and train the best referees. I think both sides are in the right on this one, I am curious to see how the NBA handles the situation.
Derrick Rose MIA
The man who won an MVP in 2011 because the NBA didn’t want to give it to LeBron James three years in a row didn’t show up to a game and didn’t notify anyone with the Knicks to where he was. The Knicks played their game on Monday without Derrick Rose and stated publicly they didn’t know where he was. The team sent officials to Rose’s apartment looking for him and eventually learned that he flew back to Chicago to be with his family. From everything he said in his press conference it sounded like he was super depressed and just needed to go see his mom. He never announced what the family issue was so it only leaves everyone to speculate. He admitted that he should have let the team know (duh) but would go much farther into detail than that. Just a super weird situation for a guy who has been in the media a lot recently and not for good reasons.
Anthony Davis had a 40-18 game, DeAndre Jordan had his 7th career 20-20 game, the Celtics and Wizards got into a fight, Isaiah Thomas is still playing great in 4th quarters, the Suns upset the Spurs in a game played in Mexico City, and Giannis double clutched a dunk from about a mile away.