The playoffs are just days away.
Russell Westbrook Triple Double Update
He did it. He averaged a triple double for the season (still has a couple games left to play) and broke Oscar Robertson’s record for most triple doubles in a season. Westbrook earned his 42nd triple double scoring 50 points against the Nuggets hitting a game winning deep three pointer at the buzzer. Of the four players in the MVP discussion (LeBron, Kawhi, Harden, Westbrook) only one averaged a triple double and broke a 55 year old record.
No image or video clip represents the Cavs second half of the season more than the one of Kevin Love eating a basketball during shoot around and playing up as if he died while being resuscitated by J.R. Smith. The Cavs have given up on the one seed and are limping into the playoffs with some of the worst defensive statistics. I still believe they will turn it on in the playoffs and make it out of the East but the blown 26 point lead in the 4th quarter to the Hawks on Sunday and inability to have a balanced lineup are not a good look on a defending champion.
LeBron and Tristan Thompson got into a heated argument on the sidelines for which LeBron has since apologized for. Thompsons 447 consecutive games played streak also ended last week after he suffered a thumb injury.
The Warriors woes were overblown by the sports media and myself. They have been rolling the past few weeks earning their 14th consecutive victory, the longest of the season. Durant is back getting some warm up minutes in the final games of the season and the Warriors became the first team ever to have 3 straight 65 win seasons with an overall record of 204-38. They have a mine field of great teams to get through in their route to their 3rd straight finals appearance but I am confident they will get through it alive.
Eastern Playoff Standings
The final 2 seeds are being fought over by the Heat, Pacers, and Bulls. There are a lot of possible scenarios that could play out in the final days of the regular season but it looks like the odds are against the Heat who are still missing Dion Waiters. Hassan Whiteside set a franchise record with 54 double doubles this season but the great comeback from a record of 11-30 will likely fall short of making the playoffs.
In the end it won’t matter if the Bulls, Heat, or Pacers make the playoffs as all three will be defeated in the first round.
Speaking of the Pacers, the signed Lance Stephenson to a 3 year deal. In his first game back with the Pacers they blew out the Raptors. With just a few seconds left in the game Stephenson charged to the hoop and scored an easy layup despite already having the victory in hand. This angered the Raptors and a mini scuffle ensued. I love Lance Stephenson.
Dirk moved up to 7th all-time in games played (1393), Damian Lillard scored a career high 59 points carrying his mediocre Blazers team into the 8th seed in the West, and the Nets scored 141 points in a win over the 76ers.