scott-brooks
Durant concedes scoring title through Instagram
Thursday , Apr , 18 , 2013 Matt Formica

Durant concedes scoring title through Instagram

If you thought Kevin Durant was cool before, you're probably going to think he's even cooler now.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  The Durantula announced he was conceding the NBA scoring title to Carmelo Anthony via his Instagram account.

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Lebron James continues to dominate
Saturday , Feb , 16 , 2013 Matt Formica

Lebron James continues to dominate

Love him or hate him, Lebron James is putting together one of the best seasons of basketball by any player in history.

Hoopsvibe's quick call:  His superstar season continued with a big win over the Thunder Thursday night.

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Monday , Apr , 09 , 2012 Hoopsvibe

Scott Brooks thinks resting stars is ‘Cheating the Game’

 

Brooks has never subscribed to sitting players. He has likened the strategy to “cheating the game” and the fans. And on Sunday, he confessed that his team's youth plays a part as well. “If we had a bunch of veteran guys in their 30s, there's no question things would be different,” Brooks said. “But our guys, if you take out some of the guys, they'll think I'm benching them twice a game. They want to play every minute. They love to play and they want to keep playing. It's like pulling teeth to get five or six minutes out of them per half.”

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Scott Brooks may be right. But it doesn’t matter.

In a way, resting players for the playoffs is cheating fans and, in turn, the game. Still, Brooks, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s head coach, isn’t a caretaker or advocate for basketball.

He has one job: to win. He is accountable to Clay Bennett and the other owners of the Thunder, who want to win.

So Brooks -- although his intentions are good -- should focus on getting the most from his players and beating the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, and all other foes in the Western Conference.

Simply put, nothing else matters -like the good of the game.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Sunday , Sep , 25 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant: There’s no beef with Russell Westbrook

That’s going to happen. But I support him 100 percent. Of course, I hated when people were saying the stuff they were saying, and he hated it as well. I didn’t want it to get to his head. I hate when people try to creep into the group and try to break things up.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: They’re good.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant wants everybody to know there’s no beef between him and point guard Russell Westbrook.

In fact, Durant likes Westbrook as a player and person. Any friction was nothing more than teammates holding each other accountable.

Fair enough. Credit Durant for showing maturity and attempting to douse out any fires before they burn in Oklahoma City.

Here’s the problem: Thunder coach Scott Brooks has real concerns with Westbrook’s shot-first mentality, and left him on the bench for key stretches of the 2011 playoffs.

Brooks wants Westbrook to stop acting like he’s the first-option and to facilitate for others like a classic table-setter. The team knows this. They have to.

And what happens if Westbrook, a headstrong and confident player, ignores Brooks’ advice and continues looking for his shot instead of creating for Durant and others?

Then there may be a problem.

--Oly Sandor.


Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Sep , 03 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Russell Westbrook: point guard is ‘my natural position’

Dan asked if he was going to introduce him before the game, what position would he say. “You’d say at point guard,” Westbrook said. “That’s my natural position.”

Dan asked why Westbrook thought he was criticized so much last season for not being a true point guard. ’I really don’t know. That comes along with playing in this league,” Westbrook said.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The great Chuck Daly believed the turning point for the Detroit Pistons was when Isiah Thomas decided he'd sacrifice his individual numbers for the collective good of the team.

Thomas could have easily averaged 25-30 points per game, however, his lofty scoring average made it difficult for the Pistons to climb the Eastern Conference standings.

The Pistons only evolved from good to great to two-time champion once Thomas scaled back his individual numbers and engaged his much-improved supporting cast.

Now Russell Westbrook is not Thomas, the Hall of Fame point guard. And his Oklahoma City Thunder are not the Detroit Pistons of the late eighties.

Like Thomas, Westbrook, a score-first point guard, must decide if he too will sacrifice. After all, he looked for his own offence at the expense of teammates during last year's playoff, which led to coach Scott Brooks pulling him in key situations.

That said, it’s a positive that Westbrook considers point guard his 'natural' position, and hopefully he has decided to set-the-table for teammates.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , May , 21 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

In defence of Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook

Westbrook, the Thunder's most misunderstood, puzzling or overanalyzed player, depending on your perspective, wouldn't flame the scrutiny on coach Scott Brooks' decision not to play him a single second of the fourth quarter in OKC's Game 2 win over Dallas on Thursday. The play of the Thunder's second-best player has been publicly picked apart throughout the postseason. Does he shoot too much, take bad shots and not pass enough?

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Russell Westbrook has a giant bulls-eye on his back.

The critics allege the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard shoots too much, knocks heads with Coach Scott Brooks, and wants to establish himself at the expense of his team.

The critics argue Westbrook should be the Thunder’s third option, with superstar Kevin Durant and super-sub James Harden as primary scorers.

Perhaps this is fair. Perhaps, the Thunder would be better with Westbrook using his athleticism to set-the-table for teammates and averaging a balanced 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.

The criticism is, to an extent, unfair. Especially since the Thunder won game two of the Western Conference Finals in Dallas. 

Sure, Brooks sat Westbrook for the entire fourth quarter. Sure, the Thunder won in spite of Westbrook, not because of him.

They still won, though. They still achieved a split on the road. And they have home-court advantage.

The world isn't ending. Westbrook isn’t the devil. He’s just a 22-year old point guard, who sometimes struggles with when to pass and shoot.

Others have had issues with decision making. Like Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons. Like Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. And like Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls.

By the way, these three figured 'it' out and won a combined 13 NBA championships.

Don’t get it twisted: Westbrook is not the next Zeke, Kobe, or MJ. It takes time for players, specifically point guards, to figure ‘it’ out.

Take Chauncey Billups. Before he became Mr. Big Shot with the Detroit Pistons, Billups was a nomad, playing on four teams between 1997 and 2002.

Critics said he lacked a position, couldn’t involve teammates and was a bust. Billups suddenly figured 'it out. Over the last ten years, he has won an NBA championship, been a Finals MVP, and made regular appearances in the Conference Finals.

Bottom line: Billups has had an excellent career. And he isn’t done. Like Westbrook, he needed time. Westbrook, at this age, is mch further along than Billups.

Critics need to appreciate Westbrook for what he is and can do. Soon enough, he’ll figure ‘it’ out. Then opponents will have to watch out.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Jan , 01 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Josh Smith feels ‘disrespected’ by Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook

Asked if he was upset by Ibaka’s dunk, or the foul, or both, Smith said, “You know what it was. That’s showing disrespect (dunking the ball). Everybody in the whole league knows you don’t do nothing like that. I talked to Durant about it. He said he would talk to him (Ibaka) about it, and he knew that wasn’t right.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: It wasn’t as offensive as Andray Blatche screaming at a teammate or Ricky Davis shooting on his own basket.

It was close, though.

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook and center Serge Ibaka won’t win any friends on the Atlanta Hawks by padding their statistics in the final moments of yesterday’s game.

Last night, the Thunder had beaten the Hawks. Time was set to expire. Both teams seemed content to let the final seconds play out and move on to the next game.

Then Westbrook suddenly passed the ball to Ibaka for an uncontested, breakaway dunk. Westbrook needed one assist for a triple-double, while Ibaka needed two points for a double-double.

This is a no-no.

The Hawks’ Mike Bibby and Josh Smith rightfully took exception to Westbrook and Ibaka’s actions. Thunder superstar Kevin Durant was left to play peacemaker after the game.

Even Thunder coach Scott Brooks couldn’t defend his players, telling The Oklahoman “when you got the game won, you run the clock out”. Anyway, watch the clip and get at us with thoughts on Westbrook and Ibaka’s last second basket against the Hawks.

 
(Ibaka's dunk is at the end of the highlight package.)
 
--Oly Sandor.
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Wednesday , Apr , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Scott Brooks to Be Named Coach of the Year

The Thunder have scheduled a press conference for Wednesday afternoon and they are expected to announce coach Scott Brooks as the recipient of the NBA's Coach of the Year award.

"Thunder announce press conference this afternoon with Scott Brooks. Hmmm. Connecting the COY dots," Art Garcia of NBA.com wrote on his Twitter page.
 
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Monday , Apr , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Durant: The Playoffs Don’t Feel Different

After Oklahoma City's 87-79 loss to the Lakers on Sunday in Game 1, I asked Kevin Durant what felt different about being out there during his first experience in the playoffs.

"Nothing really to be honest," said Durant. "A lot of people say it would be different, but it felt the same as the regular season and it was just fun and exciting to be out there. I wish we came out on the other side of the 'W', but it’s a long series."

Scott Brooks stressed multiple times that he didn't feel his team suffered from nervousness.

"There were stretches during the game where he was pressing," said Brooks of Durant. Brooks expressed liking that part of his performance, as well as what he did defensively.