By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
For FOX Deportes
1. Russell Westbrook’s third quarter outburst won game five and the series for the Thunder. When you get some free time, go onto Twitter and check out the hashtag I created called #0appreciation, which might go down as one of the greatest things I’ve ever invented. Sad life, I know.
If you read me long enough you’ll quickly realize that my fandom to the Thunder is overboard. Its my hometown team, so can you blame me?
Yet, while many can find Westbrook’s style a maddening one to follow: quick jumpers, quick tempered, quick to gamble, to name a few. Its something to truly appreciate once you step back and realize the following.
The man puts a ton of pressure on whomever is guarding him. (See point 3 in a minute.) He draws fouls, and can get whatever shot he wants. Like Rajon Rondo, any lazy pass is getting picked off like a defensive back covering a zone. Westbrook’s third quarter outburst, including a
circus-shot with a degree of difficulty at a 9.9, was the turning point. #0appreciation.
2. Kobe Bryant Scored 42 Points…and Zero Assists. Kobe was phenomenal on Monday night. 18-33 shooting, a display of shot-making that hadn’t been seen since maybe the 81-point game. And 0 assists. Yep.
If we’re going to give out praise (or slander) for players not closing in the 4th quarter, or for not defending the opposing team’s star player, then shouldn’t we also put the magnifying glass on the star player for being out in “gunner-mode” and not being a good teammate?
3. Remember when Ramon Sessions was supposed to be “the answer” to the Lakers problems? Oh my favorite Lakers fans, when Ramon Sessions was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers, all I can remember is folks yelling, “CHAMPIONSHIP!”
Sessions was supposed to be the missing piece to a scattershot team of individuals who lacked direction and needed facilitation. Derek Fisher was shipped off to Oklahoma City (guess that worked out pretty well for the 37-year old, huh?) and Steve Blake was demoted. Sessions received tons of abuses from Ty Lawson in round 1, then was put out of his misery by Mr. Westbrook.
This isn’t meant to tear down Sessions as much as to point out that maybe Sessions wasn’t the answer everyone thought he would be.
4. So where do the Lakers go from here? Just something to think about. Their top 6 players are all under contract until the end of the 2013 season. Kobe Bryant makes $58 million over the next two seasons and everyone seems to believe that its time to breakup the frontcourt of Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. Who’s going to trade for one of those bigs? What can the Lakers do with Kobe eating up half of the salary cap? What about Mike Brown?
Seems like there are more questions than answers in La-La land.
5. So Ed, who’s going to win Spurs vs. Thunder? Glad you asked, because I have the series going seven game. The winner will be…
…I’m not telling.