Ira Winderman: No MVP for LeBron. The three finalists are Westbrook, Harden and Leonard. So LeBron can win Finals and not be at awards ceremony.
November 22, 2017 | 11:26 am EST Update
After being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder this offseason, Paul George spent time watching tape of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook playing together, trying to get a feel for where Westbrook could set him up best, or how he should move without the ball. “I think just trying to get out ahead of him as much as possible, I think, is key,” George said. “That way, when he’s making plays in full court, I’m already in position ready to receive the ball instead of catching up, getting my feet ready, trying to decide what to do. I’m ready to shoot or attack at that point.”
Whether this trio works out, the Thunder’s front office put a plan in place in July 2016 to answer one simple question: How do they go from the middle back to the upper tier again, without bottoming out? They identified stars to pair with Westbrook, the more available the better, and George was as the top of the list. “He’s done an amazing job. He’s done a great job ever since I’ve been here,” Russell Westbrook said of Thunder GM Sam Presti. “He’s finding ways to constantly keep making us a better team. You know … you definitely are very, very thankful to have somebody like that in charge of making those decisions.”
The Los Angeles Lakers played terribly for nearly three quarters in Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls. Luckily, they were able to mount a huge comeback and head coach Luke Walton believed two people were responsible for turning the tide: Julius Randle and Josh Hart. “We had to find people to spark us. Once we got sparked, our guys did a great job,” Walton said. “Julius was a big part of that, Josh Hart was a big part of that. As far as changing our aggression and energy level. In the second half we played at a much better level of pace and control of the game.” I think it took Julius and Josh getting put in the game, two of our tougher players, to really spark the energy and effort level. Once we got it, we didn’t turn it off.”