Tag Archives: Westbrook

Nellieball Supreme: 2012 NBA Finals — Miami Heat v. OKC Thunder

For the second straight season, Nellieball will rule the NBA finals. This season, it ruled even in the conference championships. Those series were played almost entirely without centers.  Joel Anthony, Greg Stiemsma, Tiago Splitter, Dejuan Blair — and even Kendrick Perkins at times — were all sent to the bench, revealed as regular season cannon fodder. The power forwards — Serge Ibaka, Chris Bosh, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett – were shifted to the middle, and the small forwards – Durant, James and Battier, Pierce, Leonard and Jackson – became Nellieball power forwards.

The Nellieball four is now supreme in the NBA. Is it a coincidence that the last two NBA finals have featured the three greatest Nellieball fours to ever play the game? Dirk Nowitzki, Lebron James, Kevin Durant.

At a time when Joe Lacob is trying to turn back the clock, and turn the Warriors into a 1980′s style halfcourt team, the NBA is moving in a completely different direction. At a time when Joe Lacob is insisting on “changing the culture” of the Warriors back to the Ewing Knicks and Smits Pacers of coach Mark Jackson, the culture of the NBA is moving in the opposite direction, towards the vision of a crazy man with a penchant for Dewars and fish ties.

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NBA Western Conference Championship Preview: Thunder v. Mavericks

The Mavs looked to have the better of this matchup during the regular season, but all three games were played before the trade that sent Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic to the Celtics for Kendrick Perkins.  So this is an extremely difficult series to handicap.                                           Continue reading

Previews: Grizzlies v. Thunder, Game 7 + Heat v. Bulls, Game 1

Grizzlies v. Thunder, Game 7

This one has played out almost exactly as I believed it would.  The key to game 7 will be the officiating, as Jeff van Gundy slyly hinted in the last game when he said this regarding the Grizzlies’ physical defense of Kevin Durant: “I’m curious to see whether those bumps will be fouls in Oklahoma City.”                      Continue reading

Thunder vs. Nuggets Post-Mortem

Well, I ate this bet.  And as always when I lose, whether it be in a poker hand, or a sports bet, or in a board game with my hated rival and best friend, the Supertrader, I do a post-mortem.  That’s how I get better at what I do.

So, here’s my list of reasons why my bet on the Nuggets was either a bad bet or a good bet:                                                                Continue reading

How I Know Joe Lacob Kept the Warriors Out of the Playoffs (Ch. 6) + Thunder v. Nuggets Game 2 Preview

From the Scott Ostler article on Don Nelson in today’s Chronicle:

Nelson says his plan for the 2010-11 season was to play David Lee at center, because he considers Lee a good power forward and an All-Star center.

“I told (management), ‘Look, I want (Anthony) Tolliver. I’m gonna need a power forward who can shoot.’ They wouldn’t give me Tolliver. He was pretty cheap (Tolliver signed with Minnesota for $2.2 million). I didn’t ask for much. That’s when I knew I was gone.”

Thunder v. Nuggets Update and Game 2 Preview:

I won my game 1 bet, getting +5.5.  They’re down to +4.5 in tonight’s game, and Afflalo is still out, but I’m still betting it. The Nuggets want this game.

Hoping for an adjustment on Durant.  Stop letting him go left and shoot over his right shoulder, for pete’s sake!  Nellie knew how to guard him: Push him right, and make him turn left shoulder.

For those looking for me to take back my evaluation of Westbrook, game 1 simply confirmed my opinion of him.  He got more shots for himself than all of his big men COMBINED.  A selfish gunner, with no vision or court sense.  Not a great point guard.

If Westbrook cools off, which his season averages suggest he will, the Thunder will struggle for scoring.  I sincerely doubt at the very least that he continues shooting 75% from three.

But if the Nuggets ever get Aaron Afflalo back healthy in time to make a difference in this series, Mr. Westbrook’s life could get very difficult indeed.

One thing I failed to take into account in this series: How much David Stern and the NBA want Durant to advance and become the new face of the NBA. We may have seen this in that ignored goaltending call late in game 1. (What are the chances that play was missed by 3 officials? What else could they have been looking at?)

I have a rule never to bet against David Stern, which I unwittingly violated with this pick. But in for a penny…