Smack / Jan 14, 2011 / 2:28 am

Westbrook, Durant lead Thunder in shootout win over Magic

Russell Westbrook (photo. Jeff Forney)

Russell Westbrook (photo. Jeff Forney)

Is there a way David Stern can schedule Orlando vs. Oklahoma City every night? If not, can he at least just give us the Thunder seven nights a week? We can’t be alone when we say they get more exciting as the team gets better. Orlando combined with OKC last night for some serious fireworks … Behind spectacular games from Russell Westbrook (32 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists) and Kevin Durant (36 points) — who abused whomever Orlando checked them with — the Thunder led throughout and answered every run the Magic tried to make. Dwight Howard (39 points, 18 rebounds) dominated, but it wasn’t enough as OKC won in a 125-124 shootout. Unluckily for the Magic, the two types of players they absolutely can’t defend are big, physical point guards and stretch forwards … Early in the game, Reggie Miller suggested the reason why the Thunder are so much further along than other young teams is because they have actual superstars rather than good players. Westbrook was a flat-out stud, scoring from 15 feet and in all night long, making Jameer Nelson look like Kevin Hart (short) and Gilbert Arenas look like Gilbert Gottfried (old and slow). Meanwhile, Durant went off for 16 points in the first quarter, then resurfaced later to make a floater over Howard and two free throws to ice the win … Though people have been wanting Dwight to get more mean for years, it is kind of odd to see him actually frustrated and yelling at teammates. He never used to be like that. It’s good in a way — developing that cliche “hard-ass” exterior makes it so the media can’t say you’re not a leader. But it just doesn’t seem like his personality … Howard should be ticked at his teammates, though. We’ve never seen a big man who is so good get so consistently ignored in the post and consistently receive the ball too late. There were four or five times last night when Howard had the seal in the lane and didn’t get the ball. When your best passes to the big man are spin-out lobs, something isn’t right. Even with his astronomical numbers, Howard could’ve done more damage …Read More >>

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  • DE

    and that’s what separates Boston from Miami, one injured superstar, and the Heat’s house of cards came tumbling..

  • follow thru

    sick reverse by jr smith

  • pee

    no love for darko tipping in a jump ball for the wiz?

  • RapTOr

    Sure was wierd seeing Melo give that post game interview after his team which I supposed to be dismembered soon blew out the Heat. And he was all smiles and stuff too. How could this dude really want to leave Denver right now for New Jersey? Seriously? What ever happened to the saying “playing to win”? Shit is f’d up if you ask me.

  • http://www.highschoolhoop.com Austin Burton

    @Raptor — Life isn’t a video game. Carmelo wants to win, but maybe he just doesn’t want to live/work in Denver anymore for reasons that go beyond basketball. And if he’s confident he can make any team a winner (to an extent), he won’t make his decision based strictly on the roster.

  • jerkishbehavior.com

    “No one man should have all that POWER” Lebrons absence once again proves his worth & greatness to his team…but im sure the haters will find something to talk about.

    Renardo Sidney is a beast and makes the game look way too easy for him and he is a good 20-30pounds overweight. If he ever gets in shape & stop being a knucklehead he will be UNSTOPPABLE

  • http://www.cracked.com/funny-353-kobe-bryant/ Atom

    Yea, thought Dwight and Jameer were supposed to be boys. When Dwight is on the block and Jameer has the ball Dwight is more like the Invisible Man than Superman

  • http://dimemag.com chicagorilla

    The messed up thing bout ORL is that this game they actually gave him the ball more than i usually see them. The Magic and more so SVG should go watch some full games of Ewing, Dream, Admiral and young Shaq. Then pay close attention to how the offense is ran through them nearly EVERY TIME down court. Score or not he demands attention. But the magics main problem was actually defense. Dwight cant cover outside of a 10ft radius from the rim and from 11ft out the Thunder got busy! and when Dwight did leave the lane, OKC took full advantage. D12 re upped with this team too….smh and u guys dont understand why Melo wants to leave.

  • http://dynastybball.wordpress.com/ sean.dynastybball

    Profound item from Smack… “OKC gets more exciting as the teams gets better”… uh no shit, sherlock

  • http://dynastybball.wordpress.com/ sean/dynastybball

    @pee

    I assume you are talking about this Darko play? http://wp.me/p10wgs-qo

  • http://dynastybball.wordpress.com/ sean.dynastybball

    I assume you are talking about this Darko play? http://wp.me/p10wgs-qo

  • First & Foremost

    39-18 for Dwight is amazing. However, all he did was the 2nd thing people asked him to work on for a while. He made his free throws (17/20 = 85%). I am of the few that believe he should get the ball less IF AND ONLY IF he is having a horrible night at the line. If he 4 for 11 then I will not dump the ball to him for the other team to foul him and we leave that possession with possibly 1pt.

    If he makes his free throws he deserves to receive the 1st or 2nd pass of every play. If not, he better be getting rebounds.

  • Rafa23

    I know this comes at a strange time since Dwight hit his free throws yesterday, but how about trying them underhanded? Yesterday exactly showed how good he can be IF he is automatic on those shots.
    It would make him so much more dangerous if he hit 70-75% of his shots from the line. Most people think it’s not cool(thats why Shaq declined an offer from Rick Barry to work on the shots) and looks strange, but why are people then always talking about winning is everything and stuff?
    If that’s true, then try the awkward and gay shots. If that’s not working,you can still go back to your great 55% technique. Dwight will probably never shoot more than 60% of his free throws which is just awful.
    /rant

  • pipdaddyy

    “Renardo Sidney is a beast and makes the game look way too easy for him and he is a good 20-30pounds overweight. If he ever gets in shape & stop being a knucklehead he will be UNSTOPPABLE”

    Unfortunately that is yet to happen, and people have been up on him about these things (weight, maturity) since he was 15…

  • JAY

    How many games have the Cavs won and lost without Varejao? I guess he could be an MVP candidate too.
    So currently the MVP race is…
    1. LBJ
    2. Anderson Varejao

  • First & Foremost

    @Rafa23 I’m with you on that point. Look at Tyson Chandler, he worked on his free throws and is flirting with a double-double by having even fewer plays drawn up for him. He is making more of his free throws to make up for the play calling difference.

    To apply that to Orlando, if Howard is making his free throws then teams have to double team him harder and sooner which opens up their shooters. People will live with him getting those lucky bounces on awkward hooks but a coach can’t swallow losing a game because he opted to give them free points. Orlando will win most games by Howard’s FT shooting. They lost last night because Durant-Westbrook were handing out buckets at a five finger discount.

  • First & Foremost

    @JAY Varejao should also be in the running for DPOY. He has never lost a game by 55 points when he roams the paint.

  • Chaos

    with the loss of pietrus, the magic loss their best perimeter defender. westbrook height and length just totally nullified his defense. he was able to shoot the ball over richardson everytime and hedo is just not a great defender

  • JAY

    @First & Foremost
    Good point!! Varejao for MVP and DPOY.

    On a more serious note…
    Should Turkoglu be in the running for Most Improved?? Lol. It’s relative and depends on how you look at it… is he truly “improved”, or is he just shit anywhere other than Orlando?

  • Mike Mihalow

    That Darko tip was amazing.
    I’m glad I picked up JR in my fantasy league. Nuggets just need to get rid of Carmelo now.
    As for Miami losing without LeBron, they still have Wade and Bosh. That’s still no excuse. This is why you have 3 superstars, so if 1 goes down, the other 2 pick up the slack (assuming there is any).
    BTW, God saw you, LeBron.

  • That’s What’s Up

    imagine growing up and being clowned all the time with “Retardo”. No wonder the kid has a weight problem; he probably just ate his aggression. Didn’t he beat somebody’s ass a few weeks ago?

  • http://dynastybball.wordpress.com/ sean.dynastybball

    @mike mihalow

    JR should be solid once Melo is moved… you better hope they don’t get a SG in that trade though.

  • Mtx

    @JAY
    Turkoglu already has one MIP award, very unlikely to win another

    Hey guys, remeber Baby, the bust from BYU who played for Raptors and Jazz? He shattered a backboard in South America Championship

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P0hs1irhDs

  • Claw

    Is it worse being beat by 50 by the two time champs or 30 by a team that was out in the first round of the playoffs?

    I was hoping for this to happen during the playoffs not the regular season. That is why its a team game and I like Boston or Orlando in the playoffs more than the Heat.

    Varejao for MVP!

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Claw — The Cavs only scored 57 points in a 48-minute game. At least Miami cracked 100 last night, they just played terrible defense. Cleveland played terrible defense AND terrible offense.

  • the_don_mega

    if ya’ll wanna talk ’bout the Steve Nash MVP Theory and apply it to LBJ… that argument is pretty weak… it’s just 1 game… that theory would best suit Dirk for now… just look at the way his team is playing without him… just sayin’…

  • Claw

    @Austin – I didn’t know it mattered how many total points you scored if you get beat by 30 or 50. So its better to lose 150-100 than 100-50? The JV team was out for the complete Cavs game and in Miami they played into the 3rd before their JV team went in.

    The other point is its one game, but I think it shows how vulnerable the Heat are and they can win all the games they want but the playoffs will be different. I guess the Bulls 72 wins are safe that the Heat were going to get, that’s done after the loss last night.

    So Austin will the Heat win more games than the Cavs did last year?

  • Cheech

    FREE DWIGHT!!

  • LakeShow84

    MAN..

    They need a REAL PG down in Orlando and a coach who is at least SOMEWHAT interested in post play because not only has Van Gundy never really helped Howard out at the developement end, NOW that Dwight has offense Van Gundy is still lettin his perimeter guys freelance..

    I understand they get their modest success from the 3 ball but damn Dwight should be fuckin young Shaq down there at this point.. the more moves he gets the more his power moves will be more effective..

    Gotta let Van Gundy go and get a coach who makes an effort to get Howard the ball.. Maybe Howard has known all along he wouldnt be utitlized if he developed a good offenseve game thats why he never really worked at it until this summer when all the grumbling became too much..

    I dunno but watching Jameer look off dude 80% of the game is ridiculous..

  • LakeShow84

    And whats up with all the “Well when Lebron didnt play his team lost by” blah blah blah

    Seriously.. Dude can get recognition for being the greatest talent, greatest performer and greatest difference maker WHEN HE WINS A RING..

    Until then you can break it down 1000 different ways but the end result will always be the same..

    Just sayin.. and NO it never gets old to me lol

  • QQ

    Damn cats… It’s two fucking games, and yall crying again like you did when the trades happened.

    I’m kinda upset too, but then again, Miami losing two straight too, and one against the Clippers, so I wouldn’t panic my ass off yet.

  • LakeShow84

    All i know is..

    Chicago better get in Seattles a$$ this weekend..

    otherwise im back on here 24/7..

  • QQ

    And fuck the “Melo wants to win” argument.

    I’ve seen ants get trampled by a car with more ‘will to win’ than Melo.

  • nizzio

    To be fair, Mike Miller did have 8 assists and 8 boards

  • First & Foremost

    @QQ I agree with the Melo mini rant. The situation is backwards in my opinion. If Melo goes to NJ why is he demanding to bring 1/2 the Denver roster with him? At the end of the day you are playing at a lower altitude and a different timezone. How much of an upgrade is Lopez-Farmar over Nene-JR

    If this Mofo brings that much to the table why hasn’t he won yet?

  • Claw

    If Melo wanted to win he’d stay, he needs the bright lights and big city, plus CP3 can come to NY in 2012 and they can have their own “superfriends”.

    In 2 years you could have the majority of star players (minus OK City) in 8 of the major markets and the rest of the teams just suck. That’ll be great.

  • Claw

    For all the talk about how the Cavs didn’t put sh*t around Lebron and the Heat are great. The Cavs went 61-21, the Heat are 30-11, just a little behind pace of the Cavs record.

    None of that matters, no ring and it’ll be a disaster.

    Jim Rome was saying he loved what Lebron tweeted, made him the best villian the NBA has had in a while until he recanted the next day and said he didn’t say it. Then he lost respect for him.

  • First & Foremost

    Jim Rome is a joke. I can’t stand listening to him. His radio show always sounded like he was taking a breath in the middle of a sentence.
    I read Lebron’s… Tweet the other… day and I… loved what he said. We really… need guys like… that to step… up and be the bad… guy. Huh!

  • KCL

    plz dime don’t tell me your drinking the Renaldo Sidney Kool-aid! the fat boy has no motivation to be great, thinks he’s the shit already, has a shitty attitude, doesn’t work hard and is undersized for the PF position. He’s like Demarcus cousins without nearly as much talent and good measurables why would anybody want him? he got in a fight with the captain on the team bust for sure and he’s a dumbass to boot. Oh yea and he put up 24 pts on Ole Miss!! they don’t got a guy taller than 6’9 and no talent either, I’d like to see Jared Sullinger eat the chubby boy alive he’s got some serious man boobs

  • Ian

    jay
    read your comment from the last smack
    very true

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @KCL — Some of what you said about Renardo is right, but a lot of it is wrong. He’s not undersized at all; he’s legit size for a PF. And overall, Sidney is more skilled than Cousins. You saw that yesterday with the way he operated outside the paint and beyond the arc. He definitely has work ethic and attitude issues, but you can’t front of his talent.