Los Angeles Clippers v Washington Wizards

Wizards waiting for Martell Webster to find footing

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The Wizards scored 99.9 points per 100 possessions with Martell Webster on the court last season, not a great mark, but certainly better than the 95.2 points per 100 possessions they produced without him. With Webster joining John Wall on the court, Washington’s offensive rating jumped to 105.2.

That earned Webster a fat contract from the Wizards, who were totally set on building around Wall.

Webster is an excellent long-range shooter, the type of floor spacer who excels with a point guard like Wall. Again this season, the Wizards’ offense is better with him on the court.

But that hasn’t been true the last two games, since Webster returned from an ankle injury. Webster went 0-for-6 on 3-pointers, and Washington lost both contests.

J. Michael of CSN Washington:

There’s no reason to believe his ankle, which he began taping for the first time in his career to prevent a recurrence, is the reason. Webster has played 39 and 33 minutes and could be seen battling for rebounds in traffic.

“I think his ankle is fine. Sometimes you lose a rhythm. He missed a game,” coach Randy Wittman said. “You get in a routine, it’s sometimes hard to get back in it. He’ll be alright. He’s fine physically.”

The Wizards, who’ve lost four straight overall, are facing a lot of problems. One of their other key floor spacers, Bradley Beal, has been out longer and will need time to hit his stride.

Webster is just a role player, but how quickly he finds his rhythm could have a lot to say about how quickly Washington gets back on track.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.

Russell Westbrook: ‘Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—’ (video)

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Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.

Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”

You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.

Russell Westbrook commits epic travel (video)

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Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.

The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.

And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:

Are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on speaking terms after apparent conversation? Westbrook: ‘Nah’ (video)

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Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.

That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.

Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.

ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.

After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:

 

  • Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
  • Westbrook: “Nah.”
  • Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
  • Westbrook: “What exchange?”
  • Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
  • Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”

This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.

That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.

I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.