Earlier this week, Andre Drummond turned in a masterful performance against the Golden State Warriors, grabbing a total of 27 rebounds, 10 of which came on the offensive end of the floor.
Or maybe he didn’t.
The NBA has been regularly reviewing monster statistical performances like these, and determined that two of those boards were credited incorrectly, and were thus taken away following that review process.
[Drummond] had just been told that the NBA took away two offensive rebounds from his 27-rebound performance in Wednesday night’s 105-98 loss at Golden State. The word had just come down about an hour earlier, and he was told the NBA reviews stats after games.
He looked to Pistons director of public relations Cletus Lewis, who explained that the NBA didn’t give him credit for “two tips.” …
“(Bleep) that,” the young center said to laughter. … “That (bleep) ain’t cool, man,” a smiling Drummond said as he shook his head.
This is interesting in light of Russell Westbrook’s latest triple-double, which came Friday night at home after the scorekeepers in Oklahoma City credited him with a rebound well after the fact, causing a mild bit of controversy.
Westbrook’s tenth rebound was exactly the kind the league took away from Drummond — an offensive rebound that was given on a tip toward the basket that was counted as a shot attempt, as well.
Drummond had the two field goal attempts rescinded along with the two rebounds, so it would make sense for Westbrook to suffer a similar fate after the league takes a closer look at his most recent outstanding performance.
Russell Westbrook’s latest triple-double awarded in dubious fashion
Russell Westbrook continued his otherworldly play on Friday, notching yet another triple-double on the way to carrying his team to a win over the Timberwolves.
The triple-double was the sixth Westbrook has notched in his last eight games, but appears to have been awarded in dubious fashion.
It’s customary for hometown scorekeepers to be a little overly-generous with certain statistics; assists, for example, are ones where we’ve seen a player in his home arena get the benefit of the doubt. But on Friday, Westbrook’s final rebound was awarded well after the play occurred, which made it more than a little bit suspect.
The Thunder were enjoying an impressive blowout over the young Minnesota Timberwolves, and Westbrook was going to be left to watch the final couple of minutes a single rebound short. That’s when he took matters into his own hands. He looked over at the Thunder’s official scorekeepers, holding his arm up.
“Tip?” he said, nodding his head. “Tip?”
A quick conference at the scorer’s table and right around the time the buzzer sounded on the Thunder’s 113-99 win, Westbrook suddenly had his triple-double: 29 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists. His eighth of the season, sixth in the last eight games, and the first player since Jason Kidd in 2007-08 to have eight or more in a season (Kidd had 13).
The rebound appears to be a tad dubious, an offensive board awarded with 2:35 left where Westbrook went up to tip back a missed 3-point attempt by D.J. Augustin. Westbrook was given a missed shot on it, so everything is on the up and up, but still, hard not to raise an eyebrow.
Here’s the rebound in question:
One way to look at this is as the scorekeepers did, which is that Westbrook getting a hand on the ball was somehow a shot attempt, which means crediting him with a rebound and a missed field goal is proper in this situation.
The NBA rulebook, however, doesn’t necessarily see it that way. Here’s how it defines a field goal attempt (emphasis mine):
“A field goal attempt is a player’s attempt to shoot the ball into his basket for a field goal. The act of shooting starts when, in the official’s judgment, the player has started his shooting motion and continues until the shooting motion ceases and he returns to a normal floor position. It is not essential that the ball leave the shooter’s hand. His arm(s) might be held so that he cannot actually make an attempt.
“The term is also used to include the flight of the ball until it becomes dead or is touched by a player. A tap during a jump ball or rebound is not considered a field goal attempt. However, anytime a live ball is in flight toward the rim from the playing court, the goal, if made, shall count, even if time expires or the official’s whistle sounds. The field goal will not be scored if time on the game clock expires before the ball leaves the player’s hand or the ball is in flight toward the rim.”
Sure, Russell Westbrook needed to campaign for this one a little, that doesn’t mean he didn’t earn it.
Westbrook recorded his eighth triple-double of the season Friday night, putting up 29 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 12 assists. Westbrook had eight points and four assists in the first quarter, but he took over in the fourth, scoring 15 and putting the game out of reach.
If you want to nitpick, Westbrook almost had a quadruple double because of his eight turnovers. But in the end he led the Thunder to another much-needed victory — with it they are tied with the Pelicans for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
Westbrook continues to keep his name at the forefront of the MVP race with performances like this as well. But what the Thunder need is Westbrook to help get them wins. Besides, if the Thunder don’t make the playoffs the MVP trophy is not going to be awarded in Oklahoma City again this year.
Russell Westbrook receives flopping warning for play against the Clippers (VIDEO)
Russell Westbrook became the latest player to get tagged with a warning for violating the league’s anti-flopping rules, for this play that occurred during his team’s loss to the Clippers.
Westbrook flailed and attempted to exaggerate contact on a three-point attempt, when there didn’t appear to be much contact at all.
It’s honestly hit or miss in terms of when the league will deem it necessary to step in, and while Westbrook certainly tried to game the system here, his acting job isn’t nearly as egregious as some others we’ve seen, yet the penalty remains the same.
Phil Jackson on Knicks’ season: “A project gone awry”
The Knicks’ first full season with Phil Jackson at the helm of basketball operations has been a disaster almost from the jump. In recent weeks, there’s been talk that Jackson is open to trading the Knicks’ upcoming lottery pick, which is almost certain to be in the top four. Jackson spoke to reporters on Thursday and was noncommittal on the possibility, talking up the value of both draft picks and free agency.
He also called the season a “project gone awry,” which is a charitable way of putting it.
Jackson wants the turnaround to be quick. He said it’s hard to project how a 19- or 20-year-old rookie will develop so signing veterans who can help immediately is the plan.
“What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to look at what advancement can be gained in the short term, how quickly we can recover and get back in the hunt and chasing what we consider the right way to go and that’s get a championship,” Jackson said. “We know what the first-round pick is going to mean for us. But we also know that we’re going to build on our team on free agents.
“Like a third of the league is going to be free agents next year. That’s where our priority stands. Although I think you get movers or franchise players from a draft.”
It’s a tough spot to be in. On the one hand, Carmelo Anthony is 30, under contract for four more seasons, and will be coming off knee surgery that has shut him down since the All-Star break. Considering how much money they’ve committed to him, contending while he’s still in the tail end of his prime should be a priority.
On the other hand, the top players in the draft — among them Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Kentucky’s Karl Towns — could be superstars, and they’ll be on cheap contracts for the next four seasons. Trading a pick with that much promise, especially if it ends up being the top overall selection, would only be worth it for a handful of players. And considering Kevin Love cost the Cavs No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins plus other pieces, it’s unlikely that the Knicks would be able to get a superstar for just the pick without giving up other assets, which they aren’t exactly in a position to do right now.
It absolutely makes sense for Jackson to shop the pick just to see what kinds of offers he gets. But unless he gets a Godfather offer for a player like Russell Westbrook or DeMarcus Cousins, which isn’t at all likely, it makes the most sense to hang onto the pick, draft a young player, and add veterans in free agency.
With this being a lost season for the Knicks, this draft pick will be the first true test for Jackson.