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The great big basketball thread


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#31 MtlJeff

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:42 PM

people are going a bit crazy with the impact of this trade though. Latest ESPN NBA power rankings they moved OKC behind Boston. That must be an early april fools joke. Ummm, they didn't trade Durant folks.

So a starting 5 of Russell Westbrook (cusp of franchise player-dom), Kevin Martin (3 time 23+ PPG seasons, horrible defense mind you), Kevin Durant (at worst 3rd best player in league), Serge Ibaka (DPOY candidate, 15-20 foot range, superfreak) and Kendrick Perkins (ultimate team guy, dirty work, rebounds, toughness)....and a bench that features Thabo Sefalosha (grade A defense), Eric Maynor (quality backup point) and 2 solid rookies in Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones is suddenly not really a contender? Behind Boston?????

Bah. Just watch

Edited by MtlJeff, 29 October 2012 - 07:42 PM.

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#32 WhiteSuby

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:51 PM

I am a Lebron fan so that makes me a Heat fan. However, I see the Celtics giving the Heats a hard time in the playoffs provided that they meet in the ECF.

In the west, I think OKC, Lakers and Spurs are three contenders. Lakers vs Heats will be a fun final.

#33 mnplayer

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

Anyone else feel that if Kobe gets to the finals there is no chance he'll leave without a ring? Maybe its just me but I honestly feel if he gets there this year he's not going home without another ring. Celtics are still a very good team, probably better than last year. If Bradley returns healthy he's a very good player, plus Sullinger and Terry. And with Rondo running the show a few triple doubles are definitely in sight, this is still a very good team. But why does it seem that everyone is making Kevin Martin out to be a scrub?

#34 MtlJeff

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:00 PM

Im not completely sold on Boston. I think they are a bit better then a year ago. Jason Terry will play all the crunch time minutes and i think that's a wash with Ray Allen. Avery Bradley is back but when does he play at crunch time? Not over Terry or Rondo i don't think. He's a terrific defender and that helps but i don't think he gets a ton of late minutes. They have Jeff Green too and maybe Jared Sullinger takes some of Bass's minutes. But nothing groundbreaking. I don't see how they are that much better then last year, their best players are still a year older and for 2 of them that's not good. I think the Heat murder them in a playoff series

The other team i think is getting too much press is Denver. They are my favorite team but they aren't a 3 or 4 seed in the west like some are saying. Not enough halfcourt game, not enough guys who can create their own shot
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#35 MtlJeff

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:09 PM

View Postmnplayer, on 29 October 2012 - 07:55 PM, said:

Anyone else feel that if Kobe gets to the finals there is no chance he'll leave without a ring? Maybe its just me but I honestly feel if he gets there this year he's not going home without another ring. Celtics are still a very good team, probably better than last year. If Bradley returns healthy he's a very good player, plus Sullinger and Terry. And with Rondo running the show a few triple doubles are definitely in sight, this is still a very good team. But why does it seem that everyone is making Kevin Martin out to be a scrub?

Kobe is this year's most interesting player by 10 miles. Will he accept that Dwight will want more press then Bynum (who would've done Kobe's laundry and lived in a chest like the gimp if Kobe wanted). Will he accept that Steve Nash will want to create shots at crunch time and not just hand the ball over to Kobe and watch? Will Pau Gasol touch the ball other then on a rebound before christmas?

If Kobe emulates Lebron, and focuses on 23-8-8 instead of 30-5-1 the Lakers are unstoppable except for maybe against the Heat. Everyone in the league knows this

Kevin Martin is an interesting player for sure. The proverbial "looter in a riot" who put up a ton of fantasy points on bad teams. How does he play on a good team? Is he Chris Bosh (finds a role, does it very well, accepts being underrated as his stats decline) or Monta Ellis (not really helpful in any way to a good team)

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#36 CCUgolfer23

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:23 PM

Heat Lakers finals. Huge Heat fan but have a strong dislike for lebron, granted he is a great player but I actually like the Heat not just lebron. Went to multiple games in 2005-6 as a middle schooler an to some playoff games in the year the won the finals. DWADE is the man.  Got an autographed nba jersey form 2006 from the first round of the playoffs. DiHard Celtic HATER. Glad Ray Allen came to the Heat and I look for him to have a monster game tomorrow night against Boston. I honestly dont see Boston being a contender this year. The age on that team is not going to keep them in a 7 game series agianst Miami, Chicago, and the Pacers. I also look for the Lakers, Thunder, and Clippers to be the best 3 in the west with an LAL and Thunder WCF. The Heat have to be the favorites in the east. Lebron is a shut down defender and with Allen, Miller, and Battier all able to shoot 50%+ from beyond the arch will take alot of pressure of Lebron and Wade. Chicago is going to struggle, they cant keep playing as good as they did last year without Rose as I dont see him being as dominant as previous years. He cant keep driving to the hole and taking body shots as thats whats put wear and tear on his body.

Edited by CCUgolfer23, 29 October 2012 - 08:31 PM.

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#37 mnplayer

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:30 PM

I've always thought that Kobe is misunderstood. He's portrayed as a selfish ballhog, but I think he does whatever he feels he needs to do to win. Just like with the national team, he'll take a backseat roll if thats whats needed from him. I think he has the ability to be a guy to let the scoring drop off for the good of the team if thats whats needed. We've never seen him play on a team with a true facilitator like Steve Nash, should be very interesting to see what happens. Also, will Kobe just give up his team to Dwight like Wade did to LeBron? I know he won't take as much of a backseat roll as Wade has done, but he won't put up the type of shots he has been in the past few years.

#38 CCUgolfer23

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:35 PM

View Postmnplayer, on 29 October 2012 - 08:30 PM, said:

I've always thought that Kobe is misunderstood. He's portrayed as a selfish ballhog, but I think he does whatever he feels he needs to do to win. Just like with the national team, he'll take a backseat roll if thats whats needed from him. I think he has the ability to be a guy to let the scoring drop off for the good of the team if thats whats needed. We've never seen him play on a team with a true facilitator like Steve Nash, should be very interesting to see what happens. Also, will Kobe just give up his team to Dwight like Wade did to LeBron? I know he won't take as much of a backseat roll as Wade has done, but he won't put up the type of shots he has been in the past few years.

I dont see Kobe EVER taking a back seat in LA. Everybody knows that always has and always will be HIS team. Dwight will take a DWADE role in LA. Get his points but not outshine Kobe. But in all honesty Kobe is a ballhog. Anybody who takes 35+ shots to score 30-40 is selfish. However I do see him taking less shots as Nash can dish it to Howard in the low post.
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#39 scratchswinger

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:50 PM

Jeff: you my friend have a lot of questions. Barring any major injuries and Mike Brown being able to coach a tad better than Hal Sutton the NBA finals will be Lakers/ Heat.

Celtics have no chance to beat a healthy Miami team. Bosh was out for a long stretch of last years playoffs including the first 5 games I believe to Boston. It really played a huge role in their defensive rotations and help. With Bosh there Boston would have been happy pushing the series past 5 games.

As good as KD and Westbrook are Harden played the 2nd most important role for OKC. By far the best bench player in the NBA. His intangibles, defense and court awareness are what separate him from others. When it looked like the Lakers would win a few of those games it was Durant and Harden that made plays to spark the team and create for others, that's going to hurt them to lose. Martin was a nice throw in on the trade but they made the trade because they had to, not becaus they wanted to. Trade him now or lose him to free agency. Houston has been desperate for an elite player since McHale arrived. The key to that trade is the draft picks. OKC is hoping that they can find a nugget in the mid first to replace Hardens impact.

I would like to believe that if LA makes the finals Kobe will be able to will us to the championship. That will be a tall test against LeBron. LeBron has the taste of winning and he is by far the best player in the NBA. Beating him will not be easy. Kobe will be Kobe but I think D12 has to be the difference maker. He needs to be the defensive player of the year and make LeBron stay on the outside. If he can dominate I think the Lakers could beat Miami. Mike Brown is a huge question mark, the guy has been out coached each time that he was outed in the playoffs. He needs to prove that he can adjust and make other coaches react to his moves.

Edited by scratchswinger, 29 October 2012 - 10:45 PM.


#40 mnplayer

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:48 PM

Heat look really really good. And Ray Allen is still an animal, and Mario Chalmers is criminally underrated.


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#41 MtlJeff

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:04 PM

yup i'm interested to see how the year progresses and who they play at crunch time. Probably will vary based on who's playing well, but i felt Chalmers played so well in the playoffs and he can handle the ball. I wonder what Allen's role will be. But the Heat obviously look really good
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#42 ben w

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:47 AM

great discussion in here.

I wanted to add, about Kevin Martin, that he's a deadly spot-up shooter but his weakness has always been creating his own shot, due to his funny release and lack of a powerful elevated jump shot. Think Peja Stojakovic in his prime.

Oklahoma City is a great fit for him. With multiple ball handlers capable of cutting and slashing to the basket, along with the defense having their hands full with three all-NBA players, he'll draw the opposing teams second-tier defenders. I think this will allow him to be more comfortable of a spot-up shooter which is what he excels at.

Sam Presti has earned his lunch money by drafting well and choosing good young talent. I hope the trend continues with future draft picks and with Jared Lamb.
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#43 MtlJeff

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:58 PM

Bill Simmons ripped OKC today on ESPN if you want to go read. That's what most people are doing is thinking they've given up the western conference. Probably the biggest beating a team featuring 3 guys who've averaged 23+ PPG multiple times and are in their near primes, a defensive POY runner up, 2 promising rookies and 2 additional above average defenders has ever taken.

Wow......i sure hope OKC makes the playoffs this year! It'll be tough now that they've given up!
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#44 mnplayer

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:18 PM

37, 6, and 12. James Harden is already earning that max contract.

#45 MtlJeff

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:44 PM

Unibrow goes for 21 and 7 in his debut. I think New Orleans might be a spoiler team late in the year. They will be a tough out once some of their guys gel. They have a 6'6" point guard (!) and some pretty good young talent. They played the Spurs tough without Eric Gordon.

my Nuggets looked awful

Wow James Harden.....talk about a good debut. Somewhere Kevin Martin is feeling some pressure

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#46 mnplayer

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:58 PM

So, OKC essentially picked Ibaka over Harden with his extension last season correct? But I think Martin will do alright, too bad he has to follow up that performance. Jeremy Lin looked pretty awful to me in that game, lots of dribbling and just getting kind of lost.

#47 baseballfrk8998

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 10:17 PM

It's a shame OKC couldn't resign Harden. I wonder if him getting to start in Houston played a role at all? Though I'm sure he could have started in OKC if he really wanted to.

Either way, it looks like Harden may be worth the money. As a Mavs fan, I'm not that disappointed that he left OKC. As a fan of basketball though, I'm very disappointed. I absolutely loved OKC's chemistry. We shall see what Martin can do.
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#48 MtlJeff

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:44 PM

watching OKC-SA is a pretty nice treat for early season basketball. The Spurs have played 11 guys in the first half and have the lead. Gotta give credit to Poppovich and co. You don't expect to see teams like this who year in and year play so well together and so unselfishly. Man, San Antonio hasn't missed a beat, with that roster impossible to see them finishing worse then 3rd in the west and it will probably be higher.

early thoughts on OKC are that they will be fine. They haven't even played Lamb or Perry Jones yet and i feel like Kevin Martin isn't getting enough looks. It will be an adjustment for him because the Thunder aren't a team that moves the ball around. They probably will lead the league in one and dones but that's not a bad thing with them. They will just have to adjust to finding him spotting up on drives or kickouts when it goes down low. They've never really had a good spot up shooter. Once they figure out how to integrate him they will be fine. Martin will also have to learn how to go from being spot up guy on the first team and offensive creator on the second team. If they can get something from their rookies i think they are as good as 2011-2012
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#49 mnplayer

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:51 PM

Yeah, OKC will be alright but they've clearly lost that pure energy off the bench that Harden brought. Second unit doesn't look as good as it did with Harden running the show.

#50 scratchswinger

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:14 AM

You guys catch Pops half time interview? Those things are so stupid, the coaches never say anything worth interest other than mocking the policy. They need to stop doing those.


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#51 MtlJeff

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

Pops is the man. Will go down as one of the most respected coaches of modern pro sports. Agree on the pointless interviews.
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#52 baseballfrk8998

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:05 PM

James Harden with 45 tonight. Call me crazy but Houston may have a chance to make the playoffs in the west.

Edited by baseballfrk8998, 02 November 2012 - 10:08 PM.

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#53 mnplayer

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:22 PM

Harden once again showing his worth!!! That man can ball.

#54 MacDaddyMike

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 01:51 AM

View PostMtlJeff, on 29 October 2012 - 07:42 PM, said:

people are going a bit crazy with the impact of this trade though. Latest ESPN NBA power rankings they moved OKC behind Boston. That must be an early april fools joke. Ummm, they didn't trade Durant folks.

So a starting 5 of Russell Westbrook (cusp of franchise player-dom), Kevin Martin (3 time 23+ PPG seasons, horrible defense mind you), Kevin Durant (at worst 3rd best player in league), Serge Ibaka (DPOY candidate, 15-20 foot range, superfreak) and Kendrick Perkins (ultimate team guy, dirty work, rebounds, toughness)....and a bench that features Thabo Sefalosha (grade A defense), Eric Maynor (quality backup point) and 2 solid rookies in Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones is suddenly not really a contender? Behind Boston?????

Bah. Just watch
Yeah Harden didnt help okc that much. He was only the 6th man of the year. And with his new team he scored 82 points in the first 2 games. But i agree with you. . . They didnt trade Durant but they did trade there 3rd best player and that would have a impact on most teams.
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#55 chickenpotpie

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 06:15 AM

So 53 (now 54) posts in and no mention of the Pistons?  Yeah, not surprised.

This is what happens when all the superstars line up on a few teams.  The "B" players who would normally be on those teams become the "A" players by default elsewhere.  Ugh...I wish this was like Madden where you could computer simulate a few seasons so you can get through a few more drafts...

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#56 MtlJeff

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:12 PM

View PostMacDaddyMike, on 03 November 2012 - 01:51 AM, said:

View PostMtlJeff, on 29 October 2012 - 07:42 PM, said:

people are going a bit crazy with the impact of this trade though. Latest ESPN NBA power rankings they moved OKC behind Boston. That must be an early april fools joke. Ummm, they didn't trade Durant folks.

So a starting 5 of Russell Westbrook (cusp of franchise player-dom), Kevin Martin (3 time 23+ PPG seasons, horrible defense mind you), Kevin Durant (at worst 3rd best player in league), Serge Ibaka (DPOY candidate, 15-20 foot range, superfreak) and Kendrick Perkins (ultimate team guy, dirty work, rebounds, toughness)....and a bench that features Thabo Sefalosha (grade A defense), Eric Maynor (quality backup point) and 2 solid rookies in Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones is suddenly not really a contender? Behind Boston?????

Bah. Just watch
Yeah Harden didnt help okc that much. He was only the 6th man of the year. And with his new team he scored 82 points in the first 2 games. But i agree with you. . . They didnt trade Durant but they did trade there 3rd best player and that would have a impact on most teams.

In OKC's first 2 games they lost on a buzzer beater to one of the top 3-4 teams in the league, and then convincingly beat Portland who was coming off a win and is semi decent. Harden's replacement, Kevin Martin has played fairly well in both games and was 3-3 from downtown last night. They will also get some production from Lamb who is going to brought along slowly, but just a few months ago was being touted as one of the steals of the draft at #12. Not to mention the 2 first round picks they got from Houston, one of which is from Toronto and will surely be in the lottery.

No one is saying Harden isn't a great player, but he's going to have carte blanche to shoot as much as he wants and do whatever he wants. I expect him to put up great numbers this year just like T-Mac did when he went to Orlando. It doesn't mean he would have put up those stats in the OKC's team framework, obviously. I don't know how anyone could look at OKC this season and think they aren't a contender with their current roster. And what's Houston going to do on those nights when Harden doesn't score 45? Ask Omar Asik to put up 25-15? Or Chandler Parsons? They have 45-50M a year tied up to Asik, Jeremy Lin and Harden. Not exactly Bosh/Wade/James. And they don't have first round draft picks to boot. Let's not judge the trade based on 2 games, even if they had resigned Harden there was a good chance they were going to have to trade Ibaka next season. The 4 guys they had were always going to have a tough time staying together.

My choice would have been Harden over Ibaka. But doesn't mean the Thunder aren't still one of the 3-4 best teams in the league in their "rebuilding" year
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#57 MtlJeff

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:24 PM

One thing i find kind of funny is that not even a year ago people were saying Miami should be trading Chris Bosh. You don't need 3 superstars, just surround 2 guys with quality players who know their role. having 3 superstars who need the ball isn't working etc etc. Let's say Miami had made basically the exact same trade as OKC except gotten the Kevin Martin equivalent of Bosh (which would obviously be David Lee, very good offense, bad defense) and a rookie with a lot of potential (it works perfectly because Klay Thompson also of the warriors was picked 11th so similar to Lamb.

So if after 10-15 games last year Miami swaps Bosh to Golden State for David Lee, Klay Thompson and 1st round draft picks. Are the Heat suddenly not contenders? Of course not. And Bosh averaged 24-11 his last season in Toronto when he was the man. So let's not rush to say James Harden is so much better then that after 2 games as the man in Houston. What Harden did for OKC last year is not irreplaceable, even as good as he is
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#58 HoosierMizuno

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

shouldve traded westbrook and kept harden . wouldve got a pretty good price and had a better team
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#59 scratchswinger

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:57 PM

View PostHoosierMizuno, on 03 November 2012 - 02:00 PM, said:

shouldve traded westbrook and kept harden . wouldve got a pretty good price and had a better team

I agree, I think Harden can play a better PG than Westbrook at this point in their careers. Westbrook really has a hard time getting his teammates going. The best PGs don't score 35 points, they get everyone involved in the game because when your scoring you do everything else better. Westbrook has the potential to be a great PG but he needs to change his mindset and be was less selfish. Otherwise he will just be Iverson or Marbury rather than Isaiah Thomas.

#60 mnplayer

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 07:57 PM

View Postscratchswinger, on 03 November 2012 - 05:57 PM, said:

View PostHoosierMizuno, on 03 November 2012 - 02:00 PM, said:

shouldve traded westbrook and kept harden . wouldve got a pretty good price and had a better team

I agree, I think Harden can play a better PG than Westbrook at this point in their careers. Westbrook really has a hard time getting his teammates going. The best PGs don't score 35 points, they get everyone involved in the game because when your scoring you do everything else better. Westbrook has the potential to be a great PG but he needs to change his mindset and be was less selfish. Otherwise he will just be Iverson or Marbury rather than Isaiah Thomas.
Just watching this Houston game it's clear that Harden is a much better distributor than Westbrook and overall a smarter and more complete player. Whether they traded Harden or Westbrook is going to become a big talking point if Harden keeps this play up. And his field goal percentage is crazy. And I don't know the last time I've seen him take a bad shot, can't say the same about Westbrook.


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