Author: Brett Pollakoff

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers

Russell Westbrook on Kobe Bryant’s recent defense of his high volume of shot attempts: ‘That’s my guy’


Kobe Bryant recently took to Twitter to defend Russell Westbrook, who had come under a bit of scrutiny for his high volume of shot attempts in trying to drag his team to the postseason.

It didn’t stop there.

Bryant continued to post messages detailing how some of the game’s historical greats have similarly been poorly-perceived, at least until championships were won.

There was more, but you get the idea.

When Westbrook himself was asked if he saw Bryant’s rant on the matter, he said that he had — and appreciated the fact that Bryant came to his defense.

From Royce Young of

“That’s my guy. That’s my guy. That’s my guy. Kobe’s a good friend of mine and being in L.A. I was able to watch him and see him become a Hall of Famer and one of the best players to play the game. It’s an honor to be able to see somebody like that, to be able to have your back and support you.”

Bryant and Westbrook are similar, in that they’re fiery players who will do whatever it takes to win — and neither of them care what you might think about that, which is part of what makes them so polarizing.

Washington Wizards unveil new logo, which no longer features a wizard


The Wizards are still the Wizards — at least for now. But if at some point in the near future the team opts for a name change, it won’t have to change its logo because of it.



The team release:

“The Washington Wizards unveiled a new primary logo today. The new primary logo incorporates the “monument ball” design that has been in place since 2011 in combination with the iconic striping from the team’s uniforms, the three stars that represent D.C., Maryland and Virginia (which are also featured on the apron of center court at Verizon Center) and the team’s wordmarks.

“The Wizards will continue to prominently use both the monument ball and “DC hands” logos in all collateral materials and will discontinue the use of the “wizard/partial moon” logo that was introduced in 1997 and revamped in 2011.”

MORE: CSN Washington subscriber? Watch Wizards-Cavaliers Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET

Tanking could be epic in Heat vs. Sixers

Erik Spoelstra

Plenty of teams have things to play for on the final night of the regular season, but not all of it involves winning those games.

With protected draft picks and draft lottery ping pong balls at stake, losing isn’t just the preferred outcome for some teams — it’s likely to be the attempted strategy.

That’s especially true when looking at the contest between the Heat and the Sixers.

The Sixers want to lose to potentially gain a share of the league’s second-worst record, which would improve their draft lottery chances. The Heat need to lose, in order to ensure they’ll keep their draft pick. If it lands outside the top 10, it will go (ironically enough) to the Sixers.

Tom Ziller of SB Nation has the full breakdown of Miami’s situation:

If the Heat’s pick falls to No. 11 or later, it goes to Philadelphia. They currently have the 10th worst record in basketball. If the Heat lose on Wednesday, they will almost assuredly keep their pick. If they win and the Nets lose, Miami and Brooklyn would tie for the league’s 10th worst record. A coin flip — yes, a coin flip — would determine which team is seeding No. 10 in the lottery and which team is No. 11. Given how unlikely it is either team or anyone behind them would leap into the top three, chances are the loser of that coin flip would end up with the No. 11 pick. If that’s Miami, the pick goes to the Sixers.

So Miami beats the Sixers and it potentially loses its pick to the Sixers, depending on the Nets result and the coin flip. Miami loses to the Sixers and it almost assuredly keeps its pick.

It’s unclear what type of madness, if any, we might see unleashed in this game. We can only hope we get something similar to what we saw in 2006, when Mark Madsen launched seven three-pointers in a nine-minute span in the Timberwolves’ final game of that season.

Minnesota needed to lose in order to make sure it didn’t lose a protected draft pick — which is the same situation the Heat are in tonight.

MORE: CSN Philly subscriber? Watch Sixers-Heat Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. ET

Russell Westbrook will beat out James Harden to win the scoring title … unless something crazy happens

Russell Westbrook, James Harden

Heading into the final night of the regular season, Russell Westbrook leads the league in scoring with an average of 28.015 points per game, and James Harden is second with an average of 27.513.

That’s how it’s likely to end up — unless something crazy happens.

Marc Stein of has the numbers:

If Russ Westbrook goes scoreless tonight, James Harden needs 35 points for scoring title. If Russ scores 15, Harden needs 53.

If Russ scores 20, JH needs 59. If Russ scores 25, make it 65. If it’s 30, try 71. Harden needs 77 if Russ scores 35 … and 83 if it’s 40

Westbrook has scored 36, 54 and 27 points in his last three games, and with his team needing a win (and a Pelicans loss) to make the playoffs, we can expect a big night from him against the lowly Timberwolves.

Harden would need to pour in an insane amount of points at home against a very good defensive team in the Utah Jazz to overtake Westbrook for the scoring title. While such a scenario is unlikely, it wouldn’t be completely unprecedented.

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In 1978, George Gervin defeated David Thompson for the scoring title by scoring 63 points on the last day of the season, after Thompson scored 73 in his final game to pose a significant challenge.

In 1994, David Robinson dropped 71 points on the Clippers on the final day of the regular season to wrest the scoring title from Shaquille O’Neal.

We’ll see if Harden has any similar heroics in store tonight. Both games tip off at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Stephen Curry reportedly made 77 straight 3-point shots in practice

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry has become the best shooter in the game, and players often times will go on ridiculous streaks on the practice court, undefended, while few are there to watch.

Those facts make this report, which says that Curry made 77 straight three-point shots during a recent practice, believable — if you choose to take that leap of faith.


Curry told ESPN the 77 represents the most he’s ever made in a row. Out of 100 shots taken during the session, he made 94.

Teammate Klay Thompson, who is second in the NBA with 234 made 3s, told ESPN he couldn’t believe Curry had made 77 straight and that his own record streak is 36.

Curry is an incredible shooter, and this is certainly possible. But without concrete video evidence of the feat, I’m going to remain at least a little bit skeptical.

MORE: CSN Bay Area subscriber? Watch Warriors-Nuggets Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET

[via Larry Brown Sports]