Triple doubles, dimes, resting, and flat earth theories consumed the NBA world last week.
Russell Westbrook Triple Double Update
Westbrook earned his 34th triple double on the season, his fourth straight, this week. He had 19 assists in his 33rd triple double of the season padding the weakest double digit number on his stat line. He is going to do it, he is going to average a triple double for the season and the old former fat NBA players on TNT are going to find a way to discredit it. Will he catch Oscar at 41 triple doubles in a single season?
If Westbrook wasn’t on a mission to make history to spite his old teammate, Harden would be the clear MVP winner. He might win the award anyway as he is putting up triple doubles at a remarkable rate as well. He recorded his 19th triple double on the season which was also his 4th straight. Houston is a much better team than OKC and Harden is playing more efficiently than Westbrook.
As I stated earlier, Westbrook had a 19 assist game this week. Matching that number was Ricky Rubio who feels like he has been playing in the NBA since the 90’s but is still just 26 years old. He had 10 assists in the first quarter alone and put up 9 in the final three quarters in a win over the Wizards.
John Wall one up’d Westbrook and Rubio by recording 20 assists in a win over the Bulls. Several dudes this week were, as Kevin Love once said with an oversized head on a child’s body in a state farm commercial years ago, droppin’ dimes.
It is poetic that the two major injuries this week involved Dwyane Wade and Dion Waiters. Wade is out for the season with a fractured elbow ending his first year on a truly dreadful Bulls team. The playoff hunting Heat lost their Wade replacement in Waiters to an ankle injury that is fairly serious. Waiters will miss several weeks and is looking to be back and fully healthy by the start of the playoffs…if they make the playoffs.
The Heat (34-36) are currently fighting with three teams for that 8th seed with Detroit (34-36), Milwaukee (34-35), and Indiana (36-34) who are all just separated by 2.5 games.
The good news for the Heat is that the 6 teams below them are not likely to make a run at a playoff spot with Charlotte being the best team behind them at 31-39. The Heat just needs to catch one of the three teams mentioned above.
The bad news is that Waiters is out. As surprising as it is, he has been the major factor in their recent run. I can’t believe the Bulls aren’t going to make the playoffs and the Heat have a good chance of doing so. To make things even more compelling, if the Heat get the 8th seed, they will face off against the 1st seed Cavaliers.
Speaking of the Cavs, LeBron recorded his 10th triple double on the season, a feat that was once amazing but has since been dampened due to Westbrook’s 2016-2017 campaign.
The real news surrounding the Cavs this week involved the never ending sports talk radio segment of resting players in the NBA. For the second straight week the ABC Saturday night prime time game was ruined due to the Cavs resting LeBron, Kyrie, and Kevin. It will forever confuse me on why so many entitled people get worked up about a meaningless regular season game. The fans will be angry as they are always in a constant state of anger and outrage, the real party that should be upset is Disney (ABC and ESPN).
Disney and Turner unloaded an insane amount of money (9 years $24 billion) for NBA rights which is the reason that players are receiving unimaginable contracts. The recent trend of resting players is hurting regular season ratings which hurts the advertising sales of the largest partners of the NBA; Disney and Turner. I don’t care if little Tanner and Skyler didn’t get to see LeBron play and their dad fires off angry mildly racist tweets about spending the money they earned by a cushy office job for tickets to watch lesser known players in a meaningless regular season game. I do feel for the TV partners as they are getting screwed in a ever changing cord cutting world.
The father of three basketball playing sons has been receiving a lot of attention in the sports media for several weeks now. The shameless Fox Sports and Colin Cowherd gave the Lavar Ball an even bigger voice by putting him on TV. Some of the crazy (and strategic) shit Ball has said includes, his son Lonzo Ball is a better player than Steph Curry, he could himself in his prime (averaged 2 points a game in the one year of college basketball he played) could be Michael Jordan in a game of one on one, and all three of his sons are a part of the triple B’s (Big Baller Brand) which collectively want a $1 billion shoe deal.
This is all obviously stupid and a ploy on Lavar’s end to receive media attention and to hopefully help his sons make a lot of money. Lonzo’s name has not been in the press a lot due to his father’s shenanigans which will mean the casual, ignorant, jersey wearing with no under shirt fan, will think he is the best player in the draft and will want their team to select him. This will influence the owner of a lottery team and therefore the GM and Lonzo will be drafted much higher than he should be (he is currently projected to be a top three pick). So when it is all said and done. Lavar Ball will have won the sinful game that is sports media.
The best center in the modern NBA era who won 4 rings, an MVP, and is top 5 all time in points scored, underachieved in his career and is extremely sensitive and petty. His analysis with TNT consist of shouting out phrases like “BBQ chicken!”, getting tangled up in computer cords, and mumbling clichés, and talking over an NBA blooper reel. Despite his flaws, I still liked Shaq due to his light heartedness and his impact on the NBA. His grudges with media members and immaturity on twitter annoys me but the humor he brings to TNT equals out the likeability scales.
This week Shaq revealed something on his podcast that is an automatic “I will never respect that guy again” moment. He believes the earth is flat. He stated he drives from Florida to California all the time and it was all flat. He doesn’t believe China is on the other side of the globe in relation to North America. He believes the world is one flat surface.
Kyrie Irving had similar sentiments a few weeks ago, but it could be argued he was playing a joke with the media and was trying to get a dumb story on the front page of sports blogs. Shaq is as serious as the heart attack he will inevitably suffer. Listen to the audio:
Dirk passed Peja Stojakovic for 14th all-time in career three pointers made (1,760), Boogie Cousins received his 19th technical foul on the season, and Andre Iguodala was fined $10k for using inappropriate language with reporters (he used the N word).