1.ראסל ווסטברוק על BRINK של היסטוריה
הערה: אני שוב ושוב מרגיש צורך להתנצל על שימוש במילים אנגליות מדי פעם. אני לא עושה זאת בכוונה; להיפך, אני מנסה להימנע מזה ככל האפשר. אבל אתם יודעים שאני גר כאן כבר 55 שנה, ובין ביקור ישראל אחד למישנהו כמעט לא יוצא לי לדבר עברית. אפילו שיחות הטלפון 2-3 פעמים בשבוע לישראל לבת סיגל ולנכדות הן באנגלית. לא בגללי; בגללן. אני מדבר עברית והן מיד עוברות לאנגלית. אז כשאני כותב על ווסטברוק שהוא עומד על ה…(וכאן ברחה לי המילה העברית) של הסטוריה, אני זורק BRINK וזהו. אני כותב פעמיים ביום והכתיבה לוקחת זמן, אז אני מתעצל ללכת למילון במחשב ולבזבז דקות יקרות בחיפוש.
אבל ש גם יתרון מסויים בדבר לצעירי הגולשים באתר הלומדים מילים חדשות ומתי להשתמש בהם.
נ.ב: לכל המתוחכמים מגיני השפה העברית באתר – אתם יכולים לקפוץ לי.
לא נעים לכתוב על ראסל ווסטברוק אחרי ערב של 8 מ-28, אבל זה קורה. הבה נסתכל על חמש שישיות הכוס המלאה.
שלשום ראסל ווסטברוק אסף את הטריפל-דאבל מס' 16 שלו, כשבכולם הקבוצה 0-16. ה-7 טריפלים שלו בחודש מרץ לא הושגו מאז מיקל ג'ורדן ב…1989. עוד שניים, והוא ישבור את שיא ה-NBA לטריפל דאבלים של מג'יק ג'ונסון ב-30 השנים האחרונות.
איתן סטראוס מה-ESPN כותב על כך:
Kevin Durant is asked about Russell Westbrook a lot — about the triple-doubles, about the absurd athletic displays and about the punishing dunks. He sticks to pretty much the same line: He’s not surprised. He has seen that for the past seven years.
After Westbrook followed his own missed free throw in the fourth quarter Monday with a one-handed putback layup in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 119-100 win over the Toronto Raptors, Durant put both hands on his head. Even he was stunned this time.
“That was unreal,” Durant said. “You’ve got to time that right, and you’ve just got to be as athletic as him. There’s only a few … ”
Durant stopped himself.
“Well, I don’t know if there’s anybody in the league that can do that,” he said. “You’ve got to make the free throw, but I’ll take the two points and the acrobatic play instead. But yeah, he’s a freak of nature, man.”
There aren’t many ways to describe Westbrook anymore. “Freak of nature” seems to do just fine, but that might not be adequate.
The putback was the standout play for Westbrook in what has become a nightly crescendo of highlights for the supernova point guard. He notched his 16th triple-double of the season — 26 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists — which ties him with Fat Lever for second most in a season over the past 30 years. With eight games to go, Westbrook is just one off Magic Johnson’s record of 17.
It’s an amazing thing for a triple-double to seem routine, but that’s what Westbrook has done. For some guys, it’s a career accomplishment to get one — remember Andray Blatche running all over the court chasing rebounds a few years ago? — so is it even meaningful to Westbrook anymore?
“It’s something I never take for granted,” he said, “but I like winning.”
That’s what the Thunder do when Westbrook notches a triple-double. They’re now 16-0 in such games this season. They have also ripped off eight straight wins by an average margin of 17.1 points, with seven of those wins coming against playoff teams. The Thunder are hitting their stride as they gear up for the playoffs and are peaking with eight games left in the regular season. It has been the goal all season under coach Billy Donovan to work toward a bigger picture, a “better brand of basketball,” as everyone in the organization likes to say.
Just a few weeks ago, the Thunder hit rock bottom when they lost eight of 12 coming out of the All-Star break. That streak was punctuated by blown fourth-quarter leads and head-shaking losses to bad teams. The message internally was to stick with it, to believe they were playing well, despite the results, and trust it would pay off. It appears that it has.
“I tried to tell you guys that when we were going through it, but it was kind of blinded with the fourth-quarter losses and back-to-back losses. But I tried to tell you guys,” Durant said. “Glad you see it now. It was good to kind of figure ourselves out and what we need to do. It was kind of like a splash of water on your face — just knowing you’ve got to wake up and know the second half of the season is important.”
Donovan also offered his take.
“I think sometimes you’ve got to go through some wounds and some scars and some hurt,” the coach said. “You’ve got to get calloused a little bit. I think as you go through a season, you’ve got to get calloused. Sometimes, the harder and the more difficult the struggle, the more calloused you get, the more hardened you get. I think the more you have a chance to learn and grow — I’ve said this about this team — I don’t think it ever needs to be easy for them. It’s got to be hard.”
Confidence is dripping off the Thunder right now, as evidenced by the 48 minutes of swagger they dropped on the Raptors on Monday.
2.גילויים חדשים על 'אחרי' השלשה של ריי אלן
לפני שאני מתחיל עלי לומר לכל המעוניינים לראות ולקרוא על 'השלשה', אשמח לעשות זאת שוב ושוב, שוב ושוב, שוב ושוב, שוב ושוב (ניתן להמשיך עם השוב'ים עד יום מותי). רק תבקשו.
השלשה האלוהית הזאת (היי, טוני פרקר, לא נראה לך שקצת איחרת בניתור?) הישוותה את המשחק הששי, ואז מיאמי ניצחה בקלות בהארכה, ובקלות יותר גדולה את המשחק השביעי. השלשה הזאת הוציאה את כל הרוח מהמפרשים של הפלח (הוא שם מפרש בחווה שלו לדעת מאין נושבת הרוח כשהוא מדמיין לעצמו שהוא אפלטון – ז"א קברניט – ולא זורע חיטה).
מה שאתם אולי לא זוכרים היא העובדה שמיד אחרי השלשה השופטים עצרו את המשחק לוודא שאלן היה מאחורי קשת ה-3, למרות שהוא היה מאחוריה לפחות 15 סנטימטרים. כתבתי 'סנטימטרים' ולא ס"מ כדי שלאוהדי הספארס תהיה מילה ארוכה יותר TO AGONIZE THE MOMENT.
גרג פופוביץ' AKA פלח, השתולל מכעס כי היו 5.2 טיקים והוא האמין שלספארס היה מומנטום להוציא מיד כדור להתקפה מתפרצת ונסיון אחרון לנצחון (בינינו? הפלח צדק לחלוטין! לדעתי צריך לשים כוכב קטנצ'יק לצד שמה של "מיאמי היט, אלופת הנשיונל בסקטבול אסושיאשיון שנת אלפיים ושלושה עשר לספירה")..
קרופורד הזקן אמר כשהכל ניגמר:
"You know you're in trouble," he said. "You're very happy that you got through the game and you're not, you really weren't the focal point of the game. But what happens is everybody is texting and emailing back and forth, and (saying), `Joe, you know that Duncan got in the game."'
קרופורד – כשופט ראשי – ניקנס $25,000 על החמצת החילוף הבלתי ליגלי. למזלו לא ניקלע סל. אבל כשהכל ניגמר הפלח המשיך לרתוח כי הוא היה מעדיף להמשיך ללא עצירה.
3. אוהדים (ואוהדות) לוחמים על הרחת הכפפה של קובי
4. הרגעים המצחיקים, מלבבים, מוזרים, ומטורפים של העונה
(מעל 2.5 מיליון ניכנסו לראות את הקליפ)
5. חמשת הפלייז של אמש
6. תנו מבט ב-RIDICULOUS DUNK הזה של ארון גורדון
7. שון קילפטריק מהנטס מסביר מה זה לשמור על דוויין
8. יאן ברבר, מומחה המכללות של NBC מציע לשים לב ל-8 האלה בפיינל פור:
(מיי מן ברייס ג'ונסון)
Buddy Hield, Oklahoma(1
It’s safe to say that the star of this year’s tournament has been Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield. Averaging a tournament-leading 29.2 points per game on 56.7 percent shooting from the field, Hield has likely cemented his status as the John R. Wooden Player of the Year.
While winning the Wooden Award is an impressive feat, you can be sure that Hield cares much more about winning the NCAA Tournament. In order for that to happen, Hield pretty much has to do two things: stay on the floor and keep his red-hot shooting alive.
Granted, that’s a bit of an oversimplification, but it’s still true. Hield means everything for this Sooners team. If he were to go on a cold streak or miss an extended amount of playing time due to foul trouble, that alone could spell the end for Oklahoma. It’s always dangerous when one player carries such a large load for a team, but thus far, it has worked for Lon Kruger’s team. With two more dominant games, Hield could lead the Sooners to a national title.
2) Isaiah Cousins, Oklahoma
While Hield is unquestionably the best player on Oklahoma, if the Sooners have an X-factor, it's guard Isaiah Cousins. The talented senior can do a little bit of everything on the floor but also has the poor habit of disappearing sometimes on the court.
With all eyes on Hield, it would help the Sooners' cause tremendously if they were to find a secondary scorer/playmaker. Cousins is their most capable option. With the ability to create open shots through dribble penetration and active hands on defense, Cousins is the one player on Oklahoma who can truly take some of the pressure off of Hield. If he does so, the Sooners could win their first-ever national title in basketball.
3) Josh Hart, Villanova
Josh Hart does a little bit of everything for head coach Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats. The junior guard can score, play defense and is a tremendous rebounder for a player who is only six-foot-five.
With Kris Jenkins and Ryan Arcidiacono leading the scoring charge, the Wildcats haven’t had to lean on Hart as much as they usually do, but now with a Final Four date against Oklahoma, that will change. Villanova will need its regular-season leading scorer in Hart to be at his best if the Cats hope to win their first national championship since 1985.
4) Daniel Ochefu, Villanova
Villanova’s swarming defense is anchored by Daniel Ochefu in the middle. Ochefu is the only Villanova player standing above six-foot-six to receive playing time on a regular basis. Knowing this, if Ochefu were get into foul trouble, the Wildcats would be at a major disadvantage.
Playing small ball has worked this season for the Wildcats, but without Ochefu in the lineup, even this team would be just a bit too small. Rim protection and rebounding often turn the tide of postseason games, and the one Villanova player who can make the biggest difference in those two areas is Ochefu.
5) Michael Gbinije, Syracuse
Despite being slammed by pundits as a team that should have never made it into the field of 68 to begin with, head coach Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange find themselves in the Final Four. The Orange is the the first 10 seed in NCAA history to do so, somehow making this traditional powerhouse the Cinderella team of the tournament.
That being said, if Syracuse fans are to have any hope of their school winning it all, they’ll need their best player, Michael Gbinije, to be at his best. Gbinije, who led Syracuse in points and assists in the regular season, has had a solid but far from spectacular tourney thus far. However, if the Orange wants to continue to stun the basketball world, “solid” play from Gbinije won’t be enough. He will need to be the best player on the floor if Syracuse is to cut down the nets in Houston.
6) Trevor Cooney, Syracuse
Lost amid the amazing comeback against Virginia in the Elite Eight was the fact that senior guard Trevor Cooney had a poor night shooting from the field. Cooney is one of coach Boeheim’s most trusted players and a leader on the floor for Syracuse.
With the pressure mounting, younger players like Malachi Richardson and Trevor Lydon will need to lean on an experienced senior like Cooney for solace on the court. A few clutch second-half shots from Cooney could act as the catalyst that turns Syracuse’s national title dream into a reality.
7) Brice Johnson, North Carolina
If it weren’t for Buddy Hield, we would be calling North Carolina forward Brice Johnson the best player of this year’s tournament. Along with playing himself into the lottery of the NBA Draft, Johnson has averaged 21 points per game on 63 percent shooting from the field for Roy Williams' squad. He also leads the Tar Heels in rebounds and blocks.
Simply put, Johnson has owned the low post thus far this tournament. If the Tar Heels are to win their first national championship since 2009, they’ll need Johnson keep doing exactly that he’s been doing.
8) Joel Berry II, North Carolina
While Brice Johnson, Justin Jackson and Marcus Paige have all been outstanding, sophomore guard Joel Berry II has struggled in one specific key area: three-point shooting. Berry II, a 37.6 percent three-point shooter in the regular season, has shot just 26 percent from beyond the arc in four tournament games.
9. הימור (וסיכון) לחיים ולמוות
לא לשחק את לברון ג'יימס כדי שינוח לפני הפלייאוף יכול להיות מהלך פיקח, או התאבדות.
קליבלנד היא רק 2.5 משחקחם לפני טורונטו לראשות המזרח עם TIEBREAK לטובת טורונטו, כך שזה למעשה 2 משחקים, עם 8 לשחק.
המאמן טיירון לו מסביר:.
"I still want to win the first spot. I still want to be No. 1 in the East," said Lue after Tuesday's game, in which James sat (and coached) from the bench. "Knowing how we are, the season’s long, guys are banged up. Talking to the training staff, if guys need rest, we have to give it to them, but we still want to get the No. 1 seed."
טורונטו לקחו 2 מ-3 מהקאבס, ואין שאלה שהם יהיו שניים במזרח והקאבס יצטרכו להכין דרכונים למיפגש לאליפות המזרח.
אבל מה אם הם יזדקקו לדרכונים גם למשחק השביעי?
הימור מסוכן מאד הייתי אומר.
10. שחקני הקולג' 'אנדרקלסמן' שהולכים לדראפט
Ben Simmons, PF, LSU
Isaiah Whitehead, SG, Seton Hall
Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State
Makai Mason, PG, Yale
Kris Dunn, PG, Providence
Ben Bentil, PF, Providence
Que Johnson, SG, Washington State
Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington
Dejounte Murray, SG, Washington
Jamal Murray, SG, Kentucky
Skal Labissière, PF/C, Kentucky
Tyler Ulis, PG, Kentucky
Isaiah Briscoe, PG, Kentucky
Marcus Lee, PF, Kentucky
Derek Willis, PF, Kentucky
Dominique Hawkins, PG, Kentucky
Charles Matthews, SF, Kentucky
Mychal Mulder, SG, Kentucky
E.J. Floreal, SG, Kentucky
Jonny David, SG, Kentucky
Cheick Diallo, PF, Kansas
Tim Quarterman, PG, LSU
Malik Newman, SG, MSU
Stephen Zimmerman, C, UNLV
James Webb III, SF/PF, Boise State
DeAndre Bembry, SF, Saint Joseph's
Devin Williams, PF, West Virginia
Wayne Selden, SG, Kansas
Trevon Bluiett, SF, Xavier
Likely to Declare
Brandon Ingram, SF, Duke
Henry Ellenson, PF, Marquette
Jaylen Brown, SF, California
Jakob Poeltl, C, Utah
Demetrius Jackson, PG, Notre Dame
Wade Baldwin, PG, Vanderbilt (has denied reports, but still expected to declare)
Deyonta Davis, PF/C, Michigan State
Ivan Rabb, PF, California
Domantas Sabonis, PF, Gonzaga
Damian Jones, C, Vanderb
11.D'Angelo Russell being 'isolated' by teammates after
leaked video, according to report
The video appeared to expose admitting to infidelity.
איש משחקני הלייקרס לא מדבר איתו.
Fresh off of tying the largest loss in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers found themselves at the center of negative headlines again on Tuesday night, this time for something that took place off the court. According to a report from Baxter Holmes, Ramona Shelburne, and Marc Stein of ESPN, D'Angelo Russell is being "isolated" by his teammates after the recent leak of a video in which Nick Young appeared to admit to cheating on his fiancee, Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. Russell appears to have filmed the video, although it has not yet been reported how it became public.
According to the report, the leak has "led to a tangible strain between Russell and some teammates," with anecdotal examples given of Russell being forced to sit by himself during a recent team meeting and Lou Williams moving away when Russell sat next to him. The whole thing is worth reading before continuing.
Are you back? Okay, this is a bizarre situation, but let's look at all of it.
If Russell did film the video, and it appears that he did, that was an immature decision. He only just turned 20 a little over a month ago, and this isn't an excuse for his behavior, but everyone that age makes dumb decisions. He will hopefully learn from it, and this wouldn't appear to be the type of character flaw that would make the team cut ties with him.
Do his teammates trust him less after this? It would appear so, and that's justified. But while the details of the report are salacious and make the locker room sound more like a high school cafeteria than the workplace of millionaires, this does not seem like the type of thing that is going to cause a long-term problem for Russell or the team.
Young is obviously the teammate with the biggest grievance here, but if he and Russell simply can't get along moving forward, it's not like the Lakers weren't already doing everything short of putting up a Craigslist ad to move him and the remaining two-years and $11 million remaining on his contract anyway.
(And as an aside, the real victim in this leak is not Young anyway. It's Azalea, who apparently had to find out her fiancee was cheating on her via a blurry cell phone video. Regardless of what you think of her or her work, that sucks.)
As for the rest of Russell's teammates, this has been a trying season and emotions are likely running high. Given some space from each other this offseason, if Russell is apologetic about his behavior, it's hard to see this being the type of thing the rest of his teammates can't get past. The bottom line is that Russell is still basically a kid who would only be finishing up his sophomore year of college if he weren't a basketball player. Everyone makes decisions they regret at that age. It will be how he responds to it that defines how much of an issue this will be in his career moving forward.
This whole situation is a mess, but with eight games remaining in the worst season in Lakers history, it's a mess worth keeping an eye on. Just probably not one worth recording.