As the clock was winding down and the Clippers were gunning for a miraculous comeback, Russell Westbrook broke free for a game-deciding slam:
The video is via my favorite new site, NBA Playbook. If you go to Sebastian Pruiti's post, you can see how exactly the play broke open.
A few more comments:
- Pruiti does a great job isolating when exactly Mo Williams loses his man and Westbrook sees his opportunity. It is kind of like in football when a defensive back gets caught looking into the backfield and loses his man behind him.
- If you watched last night's game (or the games in which the Clippers beat the Thunder and Grizzlies) you might have been struck as to how a team this athletic and aggressive could be 17 games under .500. Well, this 10 second snippet is as good an answer as any.
- In fact, there were actually three men out of position. Randy Foye is the man double-teaming the in-bounder, Kendrick Perkins. Unless Perkins for some reason decided to throw an underhand pass, there was no way Foye was going to bother this pass at all. Mo Williams is the man who loses Westbrook. But also, at the very bottom of the screen, you can see that Eric Gordon (I think) too is out of position. He's face-guarding James Harden to try and deny the ball, even though the ball is already in-bounds. If Thabo Sefolosha hadn't gone up court to Westbrook, he could have also led Harden up the court as well. That makes three Clippers who were doing the wrong thing on the final deciding play of the game. Yikes.
- I know I've been picking on Westbrook lately and he has struggled, so it is good to see him come through once more in a big moment.