Russell Westbrook, Jameer Nelson

Russell Westbrook day-to-day, may miss Saturday’s game

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In case you missed it, Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook rolled his ankle near the end of the Thunder’s dramatic come-from-behind win over the Magic on Thursday night. (And if you did miss it, why? That was a fantastic game, best game of the night.)

After the game, reporters said Westbrook was noticeably limping, not a good sign. We were all waiting on official word today, and here it comes via the twitter account of Royce Young from the the must-read Daily Thunder.

Team says Russell Westbrook is day-to-day with an ankle sprain. His status for Saturday is definitely up in the air.

The Thunder play the Hawks Saturday, the Mavericks Monday and the Suns on Wednesday.

Westbrook has been pretty durable and played through a lot in his career, but in this case the Thunder should look at the big picture and rest him a game or two until it is fully healed. Once an ankle is sprained it’s easier to aggravate it by rolling it again. The Thunder will be fine without Westbrook for a few games, but they can’t risk making it worse and have something that lingers on in to when the games really matter.

Gordon Hayward goes behind Jordan Clarkson’s back with dribble

Gordon Hayward, Nick Young
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Utah’s Gordon Hayward abused the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson on this play.

First, Hayward reads and steals Clarkson’s poor feed into the post intended for Kobe Bryant, then going up the sideline he takes his dribble behind Clarkson’s back to keep going. It all ends in a Rudy Gobert dunk.

Three quick takeaways here:

1) Gordon Hayward is a lot better than many fans realize. He can lead this team.

2) It’s still all about the development with Clarkson, and that’s going to mean some hard lessons.

3) Hayward may have the best hair in the NBA, even if it’s going a bit Macklemore.

(Hat tip reddit)

Could Tristan Thompson’s holdout last months? Windhorst says yes.

2015 NBA Finals - Game Five

VIZZINI: “So, it is down to you. And it is down to me.”
MAN IN BLACK nods and comes nearer…
MAN IN BLACK: “Perhaps an arrangement can be reached.”
VIZZINI: “There will be no arrangement…”
MAN IN BLACK: “But if there can be no arrangement, then we are at an impasse.”

That farcical scene from The Princess Bride pretty much sums up where we are with the Tristan Thompson holdout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, minus the Iocane powder. (Although that scene was a battle of wits in the movie and this process seems to lack much wit.) The Cavaliers have put a five-year, $80 million offer on the table. Thompson wants a max deal (or at least a more than has been offered), but he also doesn’t want to play for the qualifying offer and didn’t sign it. LeBron James just wants the two sides just to get it done.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN thinks LeBron could be very disappointed.

Windhorst was on the Zach Lowe podcast at Grantland (which you should be listening to anyway) and had this to say about the Thompson holdout:

“I actually believe it will probably go months. This will go well into the regular season.”

Windhorst compared it to a similar situation back in 2007 with Anderson Varejao, which eventually only broke because the then Charlotte Bobcats signed Varejao to an offer sheet. Thompson is a restricted free agent, meaning the Cavaliers can match any offer, but only Portland and Philadelphia have the cap space right now to offer him a max contract. Neither team has shown any interest in doing so.

And so we wait. And we may be waiting a while.