The Oklahoma City Thunder were frustrated.
The San Antonio offense could focus so much on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (they don’t fear anyone else) that it turned the attacking Thunder stars into chuckers, into guys taking contested jumpers rather than attacking the rim (the Thunder shot three free throws in the final three quarters, a sign of that passivity). Durant finished the game with 15 points on 16 shots, Westbrook 15 points on 24 shots.
Westbrook and Durant also had the little exchange you can see above as they grew frustrated with each other. After the game Westbrook played it down.
“I was just getting on Kevin about some stuff and he got on me right back,” Westbrook said in his post-game interview, broadcast on NBA TV. “That’s what teammates do. That’s what leaders do. We get on each other, we come back and we talk about it and then we come out like nothing ever happened.”
“We got frustrated with one another because we gave up the three threes,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of the incident in his post-game press conference, downplaying the incident. “Those are the type of frustrations that I like in a basketball team. It’s on the defensive end. We gave up some threes, and we wanted to make sure that did not happen going forward. It happens with every team.”
Durant admitted he blew some defensive assignments at the end of the second quarter, leading to the exchange above.
But mostly this was just frustration boiling over. The Thunder do this, if you can frustrate their offense then they lose focus on the defensive end (or, sometimes the reverse).
They should be frustrated this series, the Spurs have been better than them in pretty much every aspect of the game. The question going into Game 3 in Oklahoma City Sunday is what they can do about it.
(Hat tip to Ben Golliver at SI’s The Point Forward and @CJZero for the video)
On Monday, Dion Waiters agreed to a one-year, $2.9 million deal with the Heat, far less than most people thought he would get as one of the few significant free agents still on the market. Tuesday afternoon, he posted an explanation on Instagram for his deal.
Here’s what he said:
I didn’t do it for the money… I did it for the opportunity to go out & ball & have fun. Everything else will take care of its self!!! I just felt like it was the best situation for me…& my family. I could have waited & got wat I wanted. But I rather be happy then miserable at the end of the day!!! Meaning Yu can have everything & still not be happy… #heatnation let’s get it!!! #provethemwrong #stamped #Philly
It seems clear, based on the market, that the kinds of offers Waiters was hoping for weren’t out there for him. In Miami, with Dwyane Wade gone, he’ll probably start at shooting guard and have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in hopes of landing a long-term deal next summer.
While we wait for the Celtics to make a bigger move to trade for another star, they’re filling out the end of their roster. Sheridan Hoops’ Michael Scotto is reporting that they’ve signed Demetrius Jackson, the No. 45 pick in last month’s draft, to a four-year deal.
Jackson declared for the draft after his junior season at Notre Dame. Talent-wise, he has the chance to be a major steal for Boston — DraftExpress has him ranked as the 17th-best overall prospect in this year’s draft class. But he might not play much his first year. The Celtics’ roster is already crowded and there’s still the chance that they’ll make another move with some of their much-vaunted assets if the right star becomes available.
ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Hawks have signed undrafted rookie free agent center Matt Costello of Michigan State.
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound Costello averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds on the Hawks’ summer league team in Las Vegas.
Costello averaged 10.7 points and 8.2 rebounds as a senior at Michigan State. He holds the school’s career record with 146 blocked shots.
Terms of the deal were not released.
Jamal Crawford knows how to get buckets.
He does it against NBA level defenders, so put him in a free-flowing pro-am — let’s say the Seattle pro-am in his hometown — and he barely breaks a sweat dropping 44. And nailing the game winner.
Doc Rivers hopes to see a lot of that next season.