Basketball Wiretap

Thunder Were +5 In Series When Both Westbrook, Harden Were On Floor

Apr 26, 2017 12:45 AM

The Oklahoma City Thunder outscored the Houston Rockets by five points during the minutes of their playoff series in which both Russell Westbrook and James Harden were on the floor at the same time.

The Thunder were +15 when Westbrook was on the floor and -58 with him on the bench in their five-game series.

Westbrook finished the series with averages of 37.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 10.8 assists and 6.0 turnovers per game.

Westbrook and Harden are expected to finish first and second in regular season MVP voting.

Matt Moore/CBS Sports

Tags: Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Rajon Rondo Shoots At Practice, Could Return For Boston Series

Apr 25, 2017 5:17 PM

Rajon Rondo took jumpers during Tuesday's practice, signalling he could return for the Chicago Bulls before the end of their series against the Boston Celtics.

Fred Hoiberg has already ruled out Rondo for Game 5.

"This is honestly the first time he's touched a basketball with that right hand," Hoiberg said. "We'll see. We'll see how it goes. He's going to continue to condition and do everything that he can. He was in the weight room yesterday getting a good session in there. It was his first time back in the weight room. He's just getting this whole process started." 

The Bulls have lost both games to the Celtics since Rondo exited the lineup.

Jay King/Boston Herald

Tags: Rajon Rondo, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Austin Rivers Expected To Return For Game 5

Apr 24, 2017 1:54 PM

Austin Rivers is expected to return to the Los Angeles Clippers' lineup for Game 5 against the Utah Jazz.

Rivers has missed 11 games with a hamstring injury.

Their series against the Jazz shifts back to Los Angeles for Game 5 tied at 2-2.

Rivers has been a key part of the Clippers' bench.

Adrian Wojnarowski/The Vertical

Tags: Austin Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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James Harden Reveals He Injured Ankle In Game 3

Apr 23, 2017 8:38 PM

James Harden said he has been hobbled by an ankle injury that occurred in Game 3.

Harden went 5-for-16 from the field (including 0-for-7 from 3-point range) and scored 16 points in Game 4.

The Houston Rockets were able to win the game behind a great performance from Nene.

"It was pretty tough; we don't make excuses," Harden said in a news conference when asked about his health. "We just try to go out there and get the job done. You build trust, and trust in your teammates all year long. When there's moments like this, guys step up and they did tonight. We have another opportunity in a few days to go out there and win on our home court, and we're going to have to get off to a really good start."

Calvin Watkins/ESPN

Tags: James Harden, Houston Rockets, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Inspirational Video From Kevin Garnett Helps Lift Celtics In Game 3

Apr 22, 2017 11:04 AM

Kevin Garnett recorded a high energy, expletive-filled video to pump up the Boston Celtics before they played the Chicago Bulls in Game 3.

The Celtics struggled in the first two games of the series and have also been dealing with the tragic passing of Isaiah Thomas' sister.

"Everybody was kinda pumped up. I almost felt like he was in the locker room with me again," said Avery Bradley, the only player on Boston's roster who played alongside Garnett.

"It kind of energized us a little bit before the game, and it reminded us of what we're playing for and what the Celtics stand for. ... It's funny, because he was our leader when he was here. He's still part of this Celtics family. For him to go out of his way to send us a message like that, that means a lot to all of us.

"Like I said, it was a reminder of Celtics family. We have to play a certain way because they are watching. There's a respect, the way that we play, and we have to play hard. Every single time we step on the floor, we have to leave everything out there. That has to be our mindset."

A smiling Thomas helped shift the mood in the locker room.

"Isaiah, it was his idea to play it before the game," Bradley said. "And it got us going a little bit."

Chris Forsberg/ESPN

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Rajon Rondo Out Indefinitely With Thumb Fracture

Apr 21, 2017 11:17 AM

Rajon Rondo injured his right hand in Game 2 at Boston on Tuesday night.

Rondo underwent a subsequent exam and x-rays that confirmed a thumb fracture.

Surgery is not required for this injury, but he is out indefinitely.

Rondo has averaged 11.5 points, 10 assists and 8.5 rebounds over the first two games of the playoffs.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Rajon Rondo, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBA Injury, NBA Playoffs

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Russell Westbrook Shattering Usage Rate Record In Playoffs

Apr 20, 2017 11:18 AM

After the first two games of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, Russell Westbrook has a usage rate of 52.0 while James Harden ranks second at 40.9. Westbrook had a usage rate of 41.6 during the regular season, which broke Kobe Bryant's record.

Westbrook's usage rate is shattering all prior marks with Michael Jordan's mark in 1986 of 39.3 being the next closest.

2017: Russell Westbrook, 52.0
2016: Russell Westbrook, 34.3
2015: LeBron James, 37.6
2014: Russell Westbrook: 34.3
2013: Carmelo Anthony, 38.0
2012: Carmelo Anthony, 36.2
2011: Derrick Rose, 35.2
2010: Dwyane Wade: 34.1
2009: Tony Parker: 39.1
2008: Tracy McGrady: 36.0
2007: Tracy McGrady: 35.7
2006: Vince Carter: 34.0
2005: Tracy McGrady: 34.8
2004: Paul Pierce: 33.3
2003: Allen Iverson: 36.8
2002: Allen Iverson: 35.5
2001: Karl Malone: 38.2
2000: Jerry Stackhouse: 35.6
1999: Allen Iverson: 33.1
1998: Michael Jordan: 36.9
1997: Shaquille O'Neal: 35.9
1996: Karl Malone: 35.0
1995: Hakeem Olajuwon: 372
1994: Scottie Pippen: 32.3
1993: Michael Jordan: 38.3
1992: Michael Jordan: 37.2
1991: Michael Jordan: 32.9
1990: Michael Jordan: 36.1
1989: Michael Jordan: 35.7
1988: Dominique Wilkins: 35.9
1987: Michael Jordan: 38.9
1986: Michael Jordan: 39.3

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

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Marcus Smart Fined $25,000 For Flipping Off Fan

Apr 19, 2017 3:58 PM

Marcus Smart has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for flipping off a fan in the fourth quarter of Game 2.

Smart made the gesture after missing a three-pointer.

"If he made a gesture, it's inappropriate," said Brad Stevens.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Fines, NBA Playoffs

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Stephen Curry Deletes All Social Media Apps From Phone For Playoffs

Apr 19, 2017 12:06 PM

Stephen Curry has deleted all social media apps from his phone for the playoffs.

Curry said this is the third consecutive year he has taken this approach. 

“When you’re really trying to zone in and keep your focus, you don’t want to have any unnecessary distractions during this point of the season,” Curry said. “We have goals to accomplish, and you want to make sure you’re giving your all.”

LeBron James has become known for doing the same thing before the postseason.

“I didn’t do it because he did it. I’m not reinventing the wheel,” Curry told ESPN. “It’s just a way to help me keep my focus on what’s important.”

Chris Hayes/ESPN

Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Brad Stevens Has Worst Playoff Winning Percentage In NBA History

Apr 18, 2017 11:23 PM

Brad Stevens has the worst winning percentage in NBA history amongst head coaches with at least 10 games in the playoffs. 

The Celtics were swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in his first playoffs in 2015, followed by a 4-2 series defeat in 2016 by the Atlanta Hawks.

The Celtics trail the Chicago Bulls 0-2 after the first two games of the 2017 playoffs despite finishing with the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Stevens has a 2-10 record over his first 12 games.

ESPN

Tags: Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Kevin Durant Questionable For Game 2 With Strained Left Calf
Kevin Durant experienced some cramping during Sunday's Game 1.

ESPN

David Fizdale Calls Game 2 Referees 'Unacceptable, Unprofessional'
David Fizdale was critical of the foul discrepancy in Game 2.

Michael C. Wright/ESPN

Isaiah Thomas Will Travel To Tacoma After Game 2
Isaiah Thomas had 33 points on 18 shots from the floor to go with five rebounds and six assists in Game 1 just hours after his sister was killed in a car accident.

Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Rudy Gobert Ruled Out For Game 2
Without Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors is expected to be the starter at the center spot.

Tony Jones/Salt Lake Tribune

Rudy Gobert Suffers No Ligament Damage To Left Knee
Rudy Gobert has been diagnosed with a left knee hyperextension and bone contusion.

RealGM Staff Report

Paul George Wanted Ball Back From C.J. Miles
During the final seconds of the Pacers' 109-108 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 1, Paul George passed the ball to C.J. Miles when he was double teamed.

ESPN

NBA Playoffs: First Round Efficiency Capsules
The following infographics show the Net Rating, Offensive Rating and Defensive Rating for all 16 teams in the 2017 NBA Playoffs.

RealGM Staff Report

Cavs Won't Sit LeBron James, Kyrie Irving Before Clinching No. 1 Seed In East
Last season, LeBron James sat out two of the Cavs' final four games before the playoffs.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Warriors Clinch Homecourt Advantage For 3rd Straight Season
The Warriors have clinched homecourt advantage throughout the 2017 NBA Playoffs with their 120-111 win over the Suns.

RealGM Staff Report