Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points.
• A lot of our younger readers read the headline of this story and said “who?” Back in the 1980s Jeff Ruland was a bruising center and a two-time All-Star who averaged a double-double — until the Sixers traded for him in 1986 (sending Moses Malone out). Then Ruland got injured, played just 18 games in two years and never had an impact on the Sixers. Sound familiar?
Ruland told CSNPhilly.com he hopes it is not, that he is betting on Bynum to make it back.
• Through everything, Dwight Howard has remained positive. And it’s working.
• Speaking of Lakers who believe, Metta World Peace remains convinced that he’s getting a ring this year.
• The Lakers have to catch someone to make the playoffs. Did Daryl Morey’s smart long-term play at the deadline hurt the Rockets this year?
• Speaking of the Rockets deadline acquisition, here is a Q&A with Thomas Robinson.
• Kyrie Irving just buys new underwear for every road trip then throws it out when he’s done.
• Jermaine O’Neal could be back with the suns on Monday.
• At what point will there be a backlash against how money drives sports?
• DeMarcus Cousins has had a very strange season.
• Looking at the minds of the NBA’s best players. Cousins isn’t there yet.
• Big Baby Glen Davis has gone vegan.
• Talking about how Rudy Gay and the Toronto Raptors have to learn how to win.
• And we’ll end like we began, with a Sixers note — a Q&A with Evan Turner.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook had his seventh consecutive triple-double Friday night in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s game against the Houston Rockets, the longest streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989.
Westbrook got his 10th rebound with 7:46 left in the fourth quarter. He already had 16 points and 10 assists. Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The Thunder won the first six games during his streak, however they fell to James Harden and the Rockets 102-99. Harden was one rebound short of his own triple-double.
It was Westbrook’s 12th triple-double of the season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA’s active leader in the category and ranks overall.
Jordan’s streak came during a run of 10 triple-doubles in 11 games.
NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has denied the Toronto Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 20.
The league announced the decision Friday.
Toronto argued that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether the Raptors’ Terrence Ross released a 3-point shot prior to the expiration of actual time remaining.
The Replay Center official reviewed video of the play using a digital timer and determined the actual time remaining in the game expired before Ross released his shot, and the shot therefore did not count.
The league found that calling for an instant replay review in this case was consistent with the playing rules because the game officials determined that there was a clock malfunction.
Nobody can stop the Zeller brothers!
Well, that’s not exactly true. But in this case, Bismack Biyombo tried and Cody Zeller threw it down with authority over him.
I’m not starting a “Cody Zeller for the dunk contest” campaign, but this was impressive.
Pop quiz: Which team complains the most to the referees in the NBA?
You probably answered “the Clippers.” Most fans do. So do most NBA referees — And everyone else. Which is why after a recent loss to Golden State, veteran Marreese Speight (a Warrior last season) pointed to the Clippers complaining about the officiating as part of the problem.
He went on to say that the scouting report is you can get in the Clippers’ heads by knocking them around a little. Which seems pretty obvious when you watch teams play them. Shockingly, Clippers coach Doc Rivers disagrees with that. Via NBCLosAngeles.com.
“The officiating thing, I don’t think, is our issue. I will say that,” said Rivers about the technical fouls. “If that were the problem, then, Golden State would be struggling. They’ve been No. 2 the last two years in techs, too. I think we need to point fingers in another direction than that.”
Doc may not like it, but Speights is right.
The Warriors do complain too much, but they also have a ring so more is forgiven. The problem for the Clippers is that reputation for complaining starts with Rivers — he complains as much or more than any coach in the league. Then it filters down through Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
Is it fair that more is forgiven with winning? Moot question. Welcome to America. The Clippers complain a lot and have yet to get past the second round with this core. And at times there standing there complaining to the referees does get in the way of them getting back into defense, and they seem to go in a funk.
Want to prove all that wrong? Win. In the playoffs.