Biggest stat of the game:
52 minutes and 3 turnovers.
Discuss the performance.
33 shots, 40 points this game.
Minus a few mishaps he played good, he had 40 and they won.
Took 13 more shots than Durant.
They won the game. Both played great taking turns in spurts.
And Harden was awesome 19-7-7 3blk 10-10 FT...nice bench guy.
My new nickname for Harden is Chocolate Ginobili.
I'm not sure why.
To all those complaining and wanting OKC to trade Westbrock, the way he played tonight is why they won't trade him, he is a tough, talented kid, he may not be as good a shooter as Durrant, (hardly anyone is) but he has better handles and creates and breaks down a defense better than Durrant. If I'm OKC management I keep them both and continue to build around them, both are young and will still improve, especially Westbrock.
And Westbrook attacks the rim CRAZY hard and is one of FEW PG's that are explosive enough to finish in traffic and over big fella's....yea he misses sometimes, but he has something that really only him and Rose at the PG position were just blessed with.
Who is this Westbrock fellow?
Westbrooks performance was mixed.
He played extremely well when he attacked the basket... so I give him props for that, and I think he did very well when he was aggressive.
But he doesn't need to be taking that many jumpers, and I think he failed to actually play the Point Guard position tonight. He is just NOT good enough at shooting to take that many Js. Westbrook in an iso is just too predictable. The opposing team WANTS him to take a midrange jumper.
Durant on the other hand, is lethal going to the basket, as well as on the jumper. Durant should have been given the ball at the end of the periods.
Even Harden would have been a better option than Westbrook isos late in the game.
Coach Brooks is asleep at the wheel
I think we saw an important step in Westbrook's development last night. Sure, it is one game, and it wasn't flawless, but if he cuts down on the jumpers he'll be fine. Brooks definetely needs to take hold of Russel's ear in terms of shot selection and quantity, but Westbrook is blessed with a gift that among athletes who play the point guard position (since Westbrook isn't a natural) only Derrick Rose is comparable. Also, the continued emergence of Harden will allow more of the offense to run through him, further limiting Westbrook's shots. The development continues!
I'm more impressed with Harden's 19-7-7 and 3 blks than Westbrook's 40... But overall, Durant, Westbrook and Harden did their thing that gave them the W...
Fizer, I like you man, but, REALLY? Yes, James Harden played well, and was 10-10 from the FT line, which was huge, but he was 4-11 from the field. You are really more impressed with that than Russell having 40-5-5?
Listen, I know people have not liked the fact that Westbrook has taken more of the offense on his shoulders this series, as they were closer to equals last series, but give the Grizzlies credit for playing incredibly physical D on Durant. He got them in the last OT, his conditioning is fantastic, but he has been bothered by their defense and has been forced into the position he is in. I do not think they are freezing him out, they are doing what it takes to win, and they did that. Last game, he and Russell did not hit their shots, this game they did.
But, you have to give a mound of credit to Russell Westbrook. He and Durant CARRY this team right now, they have so little offensive help that when James Harden puts up 19-7-7 in 49 minutes, it is a big deal. But, not even close to as big a deal as 40 points, people need to give Russell love for that. James has played solid basketball over the last 3 games, but he needs to keep it up if he even wants to come close to living up to a "Chocolate Ginobili" billing. They need another source of offense, which is why they drafted James Harden. They were probably hoping that he would make it so that Russell did not have to score 40 points for them to win a game like this. If Harden wants to earn his keep, he better keep it up, because sooner or later his getting 19 points to Russell's 40 has to be considered slightly less impressive :)
He was, I think, referring to Harden's ability to step up in this situation. We know Westbrook has the ability to get 40, but what Harden did was a bigger accomplishment for Harden--if that makes sense. Russell obviously had a bigger impact on the game.
But Harden's stat line was great, and he hit a huge 3 to save the Thunder. Last year and this year's playoffs, he's had a tendency to disappear. He's only a second year player, so to show that he can come through in this kind of situation is big for his development.
to give the ball to Durant in the 3rd OT so they could actually win the game.
I was wrong to pin so much of this on Westbrook. On reflection it appears that he didn't have many other options.
I think Scott Brooks deserves more of the blame. He needs to run better plays to get players open.
Looks like Durant has a big hand in this as well. I didn't realize exactly why Durant wasn't getting free... indeed, he was very poor coming off these screens.
Westbrook is a superstar. Durant is a superstar. Harden, Cook, and Nazr Mohammed were back breakers.
It was more than a 2 man attack. That's what the difference was. Harden was that 3rd scorer that they have been looking for.
I think they need a veteran 3rd option who can make some plays. Iggy would be perfect but I don't think they can get him without giving up Harden or Ibaka.
I wouldn't touch the Durant/Westbrook/Ibaka/Harden core. They might want to see what they can get for Collison/Aldrich/and their 1st round pick.
I think they are both playing great right now, but they are playing an Iverson type role, where eventually not sharing the ball like a true PG, something they are both capable of, will undermine there chances at winning a title.
They need to balance their output more, they tend to force the issue too much, and as talented as they are, they are getting away with it most times, scoring like the freaks they are.
The only thing is it's hard to do that right through the entire playoffs, and when they have an off night shooting, it's hard for other teammates to step up when they aren't getting regular touches.
We all know that ultimately this balance will be the difference of good vs. all-time greats.
Did nobody see Harden lead the 2nd unit? He made great plays driving to the basket and got Mohammad some easy dunks on a few plays.
Rose needs more help as does Westbrook.
The Bulls need to look at trading for Dwight Howard.
Westbrook and Durant need a good third option. Maybe they can get Rip Hamilton (For Collison, Aldrich, and their pick). Rip Hamilton has playoff experience, an NBA championship and could be the 3rd option they are looking for (15-16 points a night, can hit mid-range shots). Thabo could then join Harden off the bench to add depth and some scoring. I think they could replace much of what Collison gives them with a cheaper free agent.
Harden makes a great 6th man, but they only have two true scorers in the starting lineup. Adding another (Rip Hamilton) without losing too much would be huge.
Dwight? That is a dream but not reality. There will be no trade possible. Who would Chicago let go? I love the core of Noah, and Rose, but I wish they had never signed Boozer. If they could swing Boozer back out of town for someone of more consistency they'd be the shooting guard they keep failing to get from being a very complete unit.
I'd also argue that Harden has developed past what Hamilton would offer now in his career. The Thunder badly need some low post scoring so their dynamic duo has room to operate on the perimeter. They have known this for a couple years now, and have failed to find someone suitable.
OKC's starters had 7 assists in a triple OT game. There is a problem there. Something is just not right. Westbrook is a young guy looking to take over and he has the skills to do it. But in a 3OT game, your starters need to have more assists (though Westbrook was 5 of those 7, which is bad for a PG but not terrible).
Westbrook would make a spectacular play that only 3 other PGs in the nba could make followed by a head scratching what the &$#%#&@! are you thinking play. As a fan I feel much more comfortable with the ball in harden and maynors hands, not always trying to make the home run play but the right play.
He was good,bad,really bad,and borderline superstar all in one game. But that is Westbrook,he is a young pg who is still learning how to manage the game and himself. But Scot Brooks and some of his moves puzzle me. Including his rotation. Just me thinking on what would work...Maynar should be the first sub in to take out Westbrook,and allow Westbrook to start the 2nd quarter with the 2nd unit so he can be more assertive offensively
OKC seems to play their best when Harden is facilitating and Westbrook and Durant are playing off the ball.