The 20th week of the 2016-2017 season in the National Basketball Association has ended.
Russell Westbrook Triple Double Update
Westbrook passed Wilt Chamberlain for second all-time in total triple doubles in a season at 31. He now has 32 triple doubles on the season and has an outside chance of catching Oscar Robertson’s 41 with just 16 games left. Westbrook also scored a career high 58 points in a loss to Portland. No one can ignore the greatness of Westbrook, but the Thunder will not be a dangerous team in the playoffs and Westbrook has a usage rate that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant never touched. Are all of these triple doubles, as fun as they are, really helping the Thunder? Should Westbrook win the MVP despite his team’s mediocrity?
Dirk is an overpaid limping 7 footer who is in the final years of his long career. He scored his 30,000th career point this week making him the 6th player to ever reach the mark (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain). He isn’t the league and NBA Finals MVP that he once was, but he is one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA. It was cool to see his team (and owner) go crazy when he scored point 30,000 and even more cool to see him drain a three on the next possession with his team (and owner) crash on him in celebration. Dirk will stay on a dwindling Dallas team until he retires but it would be cool to see him make a playoff run off the bench for a playoff contender.
On Friday, January 13th 2017 the Miami Heat lost their 30th game putting their overall record at 11-30. Less than 2 months and 26 games later, they are now 32-35 and just a .5 game out of the 8th seed and the playoffs in the East. If they do make the playoffs, they will be the first team over to overcome an 11-30 deficit and make the post season. Dion Waiters, who’s play has been a major component of the Heat’s success, I learned this week has the best nick name in NBA history; Kobe Wade.
The Spurs are eyeing that one seed in the west. They got closer to the best record in the NBA with their largest comeback in 20 years (28 points) against the Kings. Knowing that it was against the Kings hurts the uniqueness of such a comeback but it is still impressive.
Kawhi Leonard looked like a league MVP in the final seconds of their win over the Rockets this week. He drained a contested three pointer to give his team the lead and completed one of the best run down blocks you will ever see on James Harden to seal the victory. Leonard did all of this with a look on his face that would suggest he was at a funeral for a close friend who just died. Ice cold.
The Warriors are playing below their standards, the worst they have played in over 2 years. Durant’s recovery will determine their season and the Spurs are on the verge of stealing their number one seeding. The Warriors looked especially bad in their game against Boston where they only scored 86 total points (12 in the 4th quarter).
Steph Curry passed his father Dell Curry on the all-time scoring list this week.
Disney (who owns ABC and ESPN) paid an incomprehensible amount of money for live NBA rights. To make some of that money back, ABC and ESPN started a Saturday night primetime NBA game that showcased some of the best match ups of the season. Last Saturday the big Saturday primetime game was between the two best teams in the league, the Spurs and the Warriors.
This must watch game turned into a, “lets’ check out what’s new on Netflix” Saturday when both teams rested their star players. LaMarcus Aldridge (out indefinitely with heart arrhythmia) and Kawhi Leonard (concussion protocol) didn’t play for the Spurs while Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodola didn’t play for the Warriors siting the need for rest. The two Spurs players were on the injury report and the game was the Warriors 8th in just 13 days, but this great match up turned into a bummer really fast. I don’t get riled up when great teams rest players during nationally televised games as I only really care about the playoff games, but this was an unfortunate night for the NBA.
Weird random stat I stole from facebook
This season Kristaps Porzingis, Brooke Lopez, and Serge Ibaka all recorded 100 blocks and 100 three pointers. They are 3 of the 12 players to ever accomplish such a feat. I liked this stat as it reveals what the NBA has become, giant stretch fives who can shoot from deep.
LeBron James recorded his 9th triple double on the season (50th of his career), Boogie Cousins was fined $50k for a verbal altercation with a local writer, the Bulls had 26 points at half time in their game against Boston, and Markieff Morris was ejected after Draymond Greening Mason Plumlee.