Loud Links 04|23|10

OKLAHOMA CITY - APRIL 22: Kevin Ollie #7 of the Oklahoma City Thunder goes up for a dunk against Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on April 22, 2010 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Russell Westbrook Posterizes Lamar Odom, Lakers Thunder Game 3 | Hardwood Paroxysm
[Click the above link for Hardwood Paroxysm's break down the Westbrook dunk over Lamar Odom. Here is a snippet.] Westbrook realizes that Fisher’s not only old and slow and crusty and smells like a death sandwich, but is overplaying his right as are the rest of the Lakers, Phil Jackson, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and the cast of Glee. So he gives him some Jimmy Smith 2001 juking sans cocaine, and is off to the races. Lamar Odom, meanwhile, is apparently hallucinating.

Give Thunder Some Credit - For Real
What I’m getting at is the famous Phil Jackson quote from a year ago, when prodded about the Lakers’ ineffectiveness against the Houston Rockets. "Give them some &%^$#-ing credit…for real". A quick tangent regarding that moment last year. I remember sitting there listening, and when it fell out of his mouth everyone talking and commenting about the expletive. Thing is, I loved the late ‘60’s hippie vernacular while highly charged emotions were flying, and he added the "For Real". Hit up the youtube.com and listen for yourself and tell me it’s not 10 times better than the f-bomb he dropped. "FOR REAL!". To that point, give the Thunder some credit and acknowledge this game was likely to happen. While it’s easy to dismiss their team; no length, inexperience and just two players contributing on the offensive end in the first two games. The first home game in a post-season series is highly charged and hard to combat even if you storm out to a 10-0 lead.

Russell Westbrook: Westbrook Boulevard | Dime Magazine
Three games into his first playoff series as a pro and Russ is averaging 23 and 5 – including the 27 and 4 he dropped last night. With the Thunder’s impressive win, it gave us an opportunity to highlight the young floor general a little more. In Dime #56, which is on newsstands now, I caught up with Westbrook and his confidants from high school, college and the pros to show just why the Thunder – and nation – are so giddy about this kid’s upside.

"It was so loud, it was almost quiet. It's a weird feeling." - Nick Collison

Westbrook Shows There's No Place Like Home
Russell Westbrook paused just off the elbow at the top of the lane, measuring his options. Seeing no clear option to feed a teammate -- but a path to slash to the basket -- Westbrook exploded, rocking the rim with a dunk that changed the game. It was, indeed, on. Roaring as he landed, Westbrook turned to the crowd and pounded his chest. His message was clear: This is our house. And Russ wanted everyone in the house to know they were part of what he meant by "ours." I’ve been covering professional and major college sports for almost 27 years. I’ve been to the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals, the Super Bowl, the World Series and the World Cup. I’m sure I’ve been in crowds this loud. I just can’t remember when.

2010 NBA Playoffs: Lakers Phil Jackson can't understand David Stern warnings
Round 1 went to David Stern on Thursday night when the NBA commissioner went Dirty Harry style and dared coaches and players to "make my day" by publicly criticizing game officials. He said they risked not just a fine but a suspension. On Friday, Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson fought back. "I think when you start throwing one- and two-game suspensions in the threats, I think that means a lot to both ball clubs and coaches," Jackson said at Lakers practice. "It seems awful heavy-handed to me, but David is one who isn't shy about being heavy-handed." Jackson framed his comments about the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant's free throw shooting made prior to the series as trying to gain a competitive edge. Stern described the comments as "corrosive."

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