Wow... Where to begin?
Wednesday night had all the makings of a perfect ending to a terrific NBA season. It was loaded with playoff implications, potential milestones (insert Russ comment), and even had a play-in game. Let me tell you, it exceeded expectations.
I could easily turn this into a 2,000 word monologue about how great the NBA is and how I don’t think I could live without it, but I won’t do that to you guys. Instead, I’ll keep it brief, and focus on our Thunder as they look towards the postseason and all that JAZZ.
After the Thunder took care of business against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, they had to wait for the remaining dominos to fall in order to discover their first round destination. With Minnesota and New Orleans both winning, OKC knew they’d be facing the Utah Jazz, but the question of who would receive home court remained. In Portland, it was Dame Time, and the Trail Blazers won their way into the 3rd seed. So just like that, OKC became the Western Conference’s 4th seed.
SO, it’s #4 OKC vs #5 Utah in round one.
Now let’s talk about the Thunder’s 82nd game of the regular season.
RUSS, man. If you know anything about Russell Westbrook, you know his competitive mentality. If he had a resume, “GO-GETTER”, would be written in all CAPS under the “Skills” section. Well, he certainly went out and got his rebounds on Wednesday night.
Entering the game, Russ needed 16 boards to become the first player ever to average a triple-double in back-to-back seasons. If you thought there was any chance he wasn’t going to grab 16 rebounds tonight, you don’t know Russ. The reigning MVP corralled #16 early in the third quarter to a standing ovation from the Thunder faithful.
Westbrook would ultimately finish with just 6 points, but he added 19 assists and a career-high 20 rebounds. He’ll finish the 2017-18 season with averages of 25.4 PPG, 10.1 RPG, and 10.3 APG. Again, Russ is the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double in multiple seasons.
Congrats to Westbrook, on a well-deserved, incredible achievement.
- You need to watch this pregame moment from Wednesday night. There’s a chance you shed a tear:
- Amidst the triple-double and playoff seeding madness, Paul George quietly went off against the Grizzlies, going for 40 points on 13/20 shooting. He was 8/14 from deep.
- Steven Adams also dominated Memphis underneath, finishing with an effortless 24 points.
- Corey Brewer went down with a “knee sprain” during the fourth quarter and did not return. He’ll undergo further evaluation today.
- Alex Abrines remains in the NBA’s concussion protocol and did not play on Wednesday night.
- Here’s a great feature, covering every outfit worn by Russell Westbrook this season:
- I jumped on SB Nation Radio last night to talk all things Thunder. Here’s the link if you’re looking for some OKC chatter:
A Look Ahead
Well, after a roller coaster of a season, the Thunder are the West’s fourth overall seed. Considering all that’s occurred throughout the year, not a bad place to land.
We’re onto Utah.