NBA guys I respect like Zach Lowe have said this is one of the closest NBA MVP races you'll ever see. I think you could reasonably rank Harden, Westbrook or Kawhi #1. I also think there is a certain bit of "stat-whoring" from Russ that NBA insiders will weight less heavily than casual fans.
Well he got his 10th rebound.
when you're MVP
Royce Young @royceyoung 24m24 minutes ago
For the series, the Thunder are +3 with Westbrook on the floor, and -40 with him off.
10/28 is like a late in career Kobe line.
Only trolls would watch that game and then attempt to make the case that Westbrook's stats are inflated. Without Westbrook, this team is battling for last in the league. If he had team-mates that could even make free-throws, and make easy clock management decisions, we win that game, and have a good shot at taking down Houston. The Thunder need every ounce of Westbrook's ability and energy to have a chance.
Remember when Harden, Westbrook and Durant all played on the same team?
One of my fondest memories was being at Game 5 of the 2011 1st round playoffs and sending the Nuggets packing. KD was clutch in the 4th quarter, and if memory serves scored the last 10 in a row for the win.
Then we got the the Western Conference finals, and KD, Westbrook & Harden combined for 15/60 beyond the arc and almost got swept losing the series 3-1. Of course, they were all young, and the Mavericks were a great team, so not being able to handle pressure at that point was kind of expected I guess.
In hindsight, the changes made as a result of the lock-out and salary cap increases would have ameliorated a lot of that damage, but no-one could see that relief coming. It was probably an impossible decision. Either way had huge risks.
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