Sonics/Thunders: Greatest Point Guard?

Sonics/Thunders: Greatest Point Guard?

By Kevin Bertalotto, Published February 26th, 2018

At age 29 Westbrook can already make a great case as the Sonics/Thunder’s best point guard in franchise history.  First let’s compare each stats, both, basic and advanced stats, then conclude.

Scoring

Gary Payton at age 29 averaged 7 less Ppg at 15.9 to Russ’s 22.9, although Gary averaged 5 less shots attempts per game and shot better 48% to Westbrook’s 44%. Overall in his Sonics career Gary averaged 18.2 Ppg on .469% shooting. Payton’s career high was 24 on 45%. Russ who has 2 scoring titles had a career high of 31.6ppg on 42%. When he was 29 The Glove had an offensive rating of 112 to Russ’s 109. For offensive win shares at age 29, Russ leads 55.1 to Gary’s 43.

Rebounds and Assists

When it comes to rebounds average at 29, Russ leads that too 6.5 to Gary’s 3.5 but in his Sonics career The Glove grabbed 4.2rpg. His career high was 6.5 to Russ’s 10.7. Gary Payton through his first 10 seasons averaged 6.7 assists per game vs Russ’s 8.1. Career wise The Glove did averaged 7.4 assists per game. Their career highs in apg are 9 and 10.4 which Russ is averaging for the third time and not to mention Russ is likely to lead the league in asts. Mr. Payton averaged more steals with 2.3 and less tovs at 2.4 compared to Westbrook’s 1.7 stls per game and 4 tovs a game.

Advanced Stats

At age 29 Gary and Westbrook both had a defensive rating of 105. Same age, Russ has a higher Value over Replacement Player of 54.1 to Gary’s 32.4. Gary’s highest of that stat was 7.6 vs Russ’s 12.6 last year. For win shares through age 29 Westbrook leads 87.3 to Gary’s 73.1. However, in his Sonics career Gary has a 126.7 win shares. By age 29 Russ for his career has a 23.9 PER vs Gary’s 18.5. Even for his career as a Sonic Gary has a lower PER than Russ at 20.1.

Accolades

During his Sonics career Gary Payton won Defensive Player of the Year, was a 9x All Star, All NBA 9x, All NBA Defensive team 9x, and steals leader once. So far Russell has 2 scoring titles, 1x Most Valuable Player, 7x All NBA, No shocker Russ by 44 points has already passed Gary in total playoff pts in 67 less games.

Conclusion

So who do you think is the Sonics/Thunders best point guard? Russell Westbrook or Gary Payton? In the regular season and crunch time in the playoffs I’ll take Russell Westbrook.

 

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NBA Nonsense Expectations: The West

NBA Nonsense: The Western Conference

The NBA All Star break is just about over and the real race for the playoff will begin (for some teams).  With only about 25 games left for most teams the debate “To Tank or Not to Tank” begins.  So here are some nonsense predictions and expectations for each of the NBA Teams for the final half of the season. Let’s Begin

  1. 25warriors-web-master768Golden State Warriors (currently 2) 44-14 – Steph, KD, Klay and Green will take back the number 1 seed in the West. Steve Kerr will make sure that they have home court advantage. 24 Games left!! You better believe that every player in this team has a countdown to when “real basketball” starts. Other than playing OKC twice the scheduled for the Warriors does not look challenging at all. Ending record 64-18
  2. Houston Rockets v Memphis GrizzliesHouston Rockets (Currently 1) 44-13– When Harden, CP3 and Capela play the rockets are almost unbeatable 28-1 to be more exact. But the final 25 games for this team won’t be that easy. Even going 28-1 with their big 3, they don’t play so hot when they are missing one or the other (or most importantly Chris Paul). Eric Gordon is once again will be an X-factor. Maybe just nonsense or maybe just me but this Houston team has not ran into any troubles at all (other than injuries). Did you know this team leads the league in 3 pointers made, that’s nonsense!! Ending record 62-20
  3. hi-res-5c898285404bd0fb12b8b2b7ce2d6c07_crop_northMinnesota Timberwolves (Currently 4) 36-25 – So what if Jimmy Couldn’t close out the Bulls on his returned back home? Can you really stop LeBron James when the game is on the line? Thibs got the Wolves rolling into the playoffs scarier than ever. This team may not be a championship but they are not going down without a fight. Who knows maybe Wiggins will decide to show up and take over a game or 2. The Wolves are a wild card team, seriously anything could happen. Ending record 52-30
  4. maxresdefaultOklahoma City Thunder (Currently 5) 33-26 – Who is the most emotional team in the NBA? The Thunder. Which team seems to completely dominate the Warriors? The Thunder. Which team is able to play with any top team in the NBA and then go out and lose to a weak team the next day? The Thunder. Who cares if you have loses to the Suns and Lakers, the Thunder seem to have the edge over the Warriors. Ending Record 50-32
  5. untitledDenver Nuggets (Currently 6) 32-26 – The Nuggets can shoot. Or better yet, they don’t know when to stop shooting. The Nuggets seem to have found the common piece between Houston and Golden State and that is to shoot. Paul Millsap is not even back and this team is holding on (by a thread) to their playoff spot. They start out a game against the Spurs, who they beat a couple days ago. If they can keep on shooting and winning out those 50-50 games this could make some noise in the playoffs Ending record 48-34
  6. hi-res-3f458db74c779378263630850da43d23_crop_northSan Antonio Spurs (Currently 3) 35-24 – Popovich will continue his legacy of making the playoffs for another consecutive year. Let’s be honest, without Leonard any hope of championship is out of the window. Popovich is a hall of famer coach and if anybody can make a deep playoff run with this team (or what’s left off it) is him.  If you think they have a chance please contact me.  Should Kawhi really be hassle for taking the time off? if he is not ready, he is not ready.  Ending Record 47-35
  7. patchjersey102517New Orleans Pelicans (Currently 8) 31-26 – As long as Anthony Davis is putting up NBA 2k18 MyCareer/ MyPlayer numbers this team will make the playoffs. Davis is finally healthy and finally becoming the player that we all thought he could be years ago. If he stays healthy, he should be in serious conversations involving him and the MVP trophy. Ending Record 46-36
  8. 641c07e0-dccf-4dff-90e7-c39cb9b233d4_613681_CUSTOMPortland Trail Blazers (Currently 7) 32-26 – When Lillard is feeling it everybody will know. When he catches fire, the team knows it and they will keep feeding him they ball and they should. Chucking or not!! Blazers will only benefit from either CJ or Lillard feeling their shot. If you think 8th is not a good spot!! Then you should have seen how inspired and motivated Lillard played against the Warriors!! This could be a potential upset!! If you believe in feel good story, this could be yours.
  9. donovan-mitchell-18.5 – Utah Jazz – Personally, I hope that I am wrong about the Utah Jazz game staying out of the playoffs. Currently on 11 game winning streak. Donovan Mitchell has his eyes on Rookie of the Year. Rudy Gobert has to stay on the floor for a real chance.  Ricky Rubio Aka Mr. StealYaGirl with the slick hair has develop an unbelievable (reliable) jumper. The team is flowing right now. Better yet the team is Jazzing.

Rest of the West in the no particular order

  1. la-clippers-new-logo-memes_1Los Angeles Clippers – Should have done a better job at getting rid of DeAndre Jordan. Maybe it shouldn’t have been such a surprised that they traded away Blake Griffin, because really who would want DeAndre Jordan. Am pretty sure after what he pulled when the Mavericks were trying to deal for him just kind of blacklisted himself among front offices.  Lou Williams and Tobias Harris are having career seasons that will go unnoticed due to playing with for this Clipper teams.  Doc will miss the good old days where his team was known as lob city or a west contender or just a good team overall.  The Clippers are not really that fallen off the radar but is just hard to look at the team and not wonder what’s going on.
  2. lzkerLos Angeles Lakers – Do you guys remember when the Clipper were actually better than the LA Lakers? It was short lived and those days are over. Lonzo, Ingram, KCP, Kuzma, Hart, Zubac (should be getting more playing time, tilt then get over it) that is scary line up of young guys. Whether PG13 comes in next year, whatever happens with IT, if LeBron also comes over the Lakers are already on the path to being great. Magic at some point in time will have to decide whether to fully cut off Lavar Ball or just put him on the payroll. P.s. he is already on the payroll.
  3. mgMemphis Grizzles – unfortunately there is nothing positive about this team. They had their good days and now it seems like they will be falling for a while. 7 straight losses going in to the 2nd half the season. Injuries have taken over the locker room. Their best players are Marc Gasol and Tyreke Evans (which is just sad).  Tyreke Evans succeeds in bad situations or bad teams but is will not be consider reliable enough to play for a good team.
  4. untitled-1_7Sacramento Kings – the future is bright. I don’t think it involves Iman Shumpert at all unfortunately. But the Kings have a lot to look forward to for the future. They pretty much clear out the whole locker room. Now all they are missing is a new a coach and a new front office.  Vlade Divac may still be having DeMarcus Cousins nightmares but with a young new roster everybody seems to have (almost) forgotten those days.
  5. dallasmavericksDallas Mavericks – Is sad that the biggest news regarding the Dallas Mavericks are negative one. Dennis Smith Jr has been playing great. Dirk is still shooting lights out. Nerlens Noel is playing basketball. And The Mavericks are the Mavericks. But nothing really positive is going on here. They will be fine.  they are the Dallas Mavericks who happen to made some mistakes.  How much off it is on Cuban or the organization that is to be determined.
  6. Booker-SmilePhoenix Suns – They need to do everything they can to keep Devin Booker happy. KEEP BOOKER HAPPY. DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER.  KEEP BOOKER HAPPY. DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER.KEEP BOOKER HAPPY. DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER.KEEP BOOKER HAPPY. DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER DEVIN BOOKER.

#Tbt Best Performances On Opening Night since 1984

Best Performances On Opening Night Since 1984!!

by Kevin Bertalotto, published February 22, 2018

Note: I’m not ranking the performances rather just reminding y’all  of these forgotten yet amazing games by these stars. Enjoy!

  • Vs the Cavaliers in 1989 Michael Jordan scored 54 pts, grabbed 14 rebs , dished out 6 asts and stole the ball 3x. W
  • Anthony Davis vs DEN in 2016 had 50 pts, gobbled 15 rebs, assisted on 5 shots, stole the ball 5x and blocked 5 shots. L
  • At home vs the Clippers in 92, Charles Barkley had 37 pts, 21 rebs, 8 asts shooting 11/16. W
  • On the road against the Kansas City Kings, Kiki Vandeweghe scored 47 pts on 19/23 shooting. W
  • Against the championship team, Miami Heat, rookie Michael Carter Williams had 22 pts, 7 rebs, 12 asts and 9 stls on 60% shooting! W
  • In his first game as a Houston Rocket, James Harden scored 37 points, grabbed 6 rebs and dished out 12 asts along with 4 stls. W
  • In 1989 vs Denver, Karl Malone finished the game with 40 pts, 16 rebs and dished out 5 asts all on 18/25 shooting. W
  • Michael Jordan at Madison Square Garden had 50 pts, 6 rebs and 4 stls. W
  • In 1990 Charles Barkley at Chicago scored 37 pts, collected 10 rebs and dished out 5 asts while shooting 15/21. W
  • At home vs the Orlando Magic Anthony Davis finished the game with 26 pts, 17 rebs, AND blocked 9 shots. W
  • In a loss to the freakin Lakers, James Harden had 34, 7 and 17. L
  • At Denver the man himself Tim Hardaway had 32 5 and 18 asts. W
  • Klay Thompson vs the Lakers in 2013 scored 38 pts shooting 15/19. W
  • Against the Houston Rockets Monta Ellis finished the game with 46 pts on 18/24 shooting. W

Portland Trail Blazers: A Team in Need

Portland Trail Blazers: A Team in Need

By Watson Rowe, Published February 21st, 2018

I was recently asked a 2 interesting questions about the Portland Trail Blazers:

1. What’s stopping the Trail Blazers from being a Championship team?

2. What do they need or lacking?

After some much careful thought and analysis of what I’ve seen,  here is the conclusion I came to. Please feel free to comment any corrections or any additional thoughts you may have.

The Trail Blazers need to avoid the injury big for starters. It seems that anytime the Trail Blazers get something good going, someone gets hurt (examples being Greg Oden and Brandon Roy and currently Noah Vonleh.).

The injury bug has hit them quite hard in recent years, hindering their chances at a strong and deep playoff run. 

I am fully aware that this team needs depth but in reality they need VETERAN DEPTH. As of now they’re still developing the young talent.

Rookies Caleb Swanigan and Zach Collins, if given TRUE VETERAN LEADERSHIP, will thrive in Coach Stotts’ system. Get Vonleh healthy and he will improve by leaps and bounds under Stotts.

641c07e0-dccf-4dff-90e7-c39cb9b233d4_613681_CUSTOMAdditionally,  they need to resolve the  issues with the back court. Lillard and McCollum is as productive of any top tier 1-2 duo in the league from an offensive standpoint but it’s lacking the defensive tenacity to truly be DYNAMIC. 

Therefore I suggest that the Trail Blazers trade at least ONE of them (McCollum in my opinion), if not both, to look to build a better 2 way unit.

Finally, the Trail Blazers need to start making smarter fiduciary decisions and get rid of these cap eating contracts. Players like Meyers Leonard and Evan Turner are taking up the necessary cap space needed for the Trail Blazers to make big moves in the off season.

For example, Carmelo Anthony was rumored to be considering Portland as a team of interest this last off-season. However due to the number of unnecessarily overpaid players under contract in Portland, it was nothing more than a wasted dream. 

No top player wants to go where they can’t get paid. Dump these cap space eating contracts so you can actively pursue more big name free agents in the off season.

I personally believe that if the Trail Blazers make these changes, their patience and intelligence in the front office, and the  play on the  court as a whole will eventually be fruitful. 

Soon the franchise will be on the cusp of a deep playoff run, one that fans may hope will result in a NBA Finals berth. And even possibly, the ever so coveted NBA Title.

 

NBA Nonsense Expectations!! The East

NBA Nonsense Expectations!! The East

The NBA All Star break is just about over and the real race for the playoff will begin (for some teams).  With only about 25 games left for most teams the debate “To Tank or Not to Tank” begins.  So here are some nonsense predictions and expectations for each of the NBA Teams for the final half of the season.

Let’s Begin with the East:

 

  1. Toronto Raptors v Detroit PistonsToronto 41-16 (Currently 1) – Toronto will continue dominate their opponents. Derozan will continue his strong season averaging 23.7 points per game. The bench with surge with more time given to VanVleet and Poetl. For a team that still has 25 games left in the season and only 10 wins away to match their total from last year. Coach of the year nominee could lead his team to a 60 wins season. Looking at the scheduled they play Orlando and Detroit 3 times each. Ending record 56-26.
  2. LeBron-James-George-Hill-Rodney-Hood-Jordan-Clarkson-Larry-Nance-JrCleveland Cavaliers 34-22 (Currently 3) – LeBron James and the new looking Cavaliers will reach the number 2 seed. Even being behind the Celtics 6 games, they still have 26 games left. If anything we have learn about any team that LeBron plays for is that they rally in the 2nd half of the season.  Also keep in mind that this team already looks scary and Kevin Love is still out of the line up. Ending record 54-28.
  3. hi-res-96bdc9f15fa5024c64b0e954c528736c_crop_northBoston Celtics 40-19 (Currently 2) – Brad Stevens is a great coach. Kyrie Irving, Al Horford, Jaylen Brown and Tatum have all had great seasons. The rise of Terry Rozier has also proven to be very valuable. Unfortunately for the Celtics they haven’t been winning the 50-50 games and teams are preparing more and more for them. Also a big factor are injuries Kyrie and Horford have both missed games this year, therefore rest will play a big factor for the Celtics for the rest of the season. Ending record 53-59.
  4. vongIndiana Pacers 33-25 (Currently 5) – Victor Oladipo is averaging 24.4 points per game, which is the highest of his career. If he can keeps on torching teams on the offensive the Pacers will be in a great playoff position.  At the beginning of the season it would have impossible to predict that the Pacers would be doing this good.  The only question left is what else can this Cinderella/ redemption team can do. Ending record 49-33.
  5. hi-res-de20fea29527a7521d50268316bac474_crop_northWashington Wizards 33-24 (Currently 4) – Bradley Beal have been great, since John Wall went down, proving that he can be the leader to this Wizards team. The question lies on how Wall will adjust to the new team play and if he is willing to (maybe) take a backseat to Beal. Expect locker room drama and lack of leadership to cost this team a couple games. Who is or who should be the leader of this Wizards team? Wall or Beal??Ending record 48-34.
  6. simmons_ncxfkvnqm0b91pmi8tei5zlx7Philadelphia 76ers 30-25 (Currently 7) – Embiid and Simmons are going to be playing with fire in their eyes. Do you #TrustTheProcess?? Going into the All Star break with a 5 game winning streak and starting out the final stretch with a matchup against the Bulls. The 76ers are done tanking and now making an entrance back in to the playoffs. Ending Record 46-36.
  7. DwadeMiami Heat 30-28 (Currently 8) – D-Wade will lead his team to the promise land (the playoffs, not championships) before he signs another deal for a paycheck or retires.   The Heat are nowhere close to any kind of championship form that they have been in the past.  But that doesn’t mean that Pat is going to take the “tanking route.  Plus why tank when you can make the playoffs and build history (by history, I mean endless profit) with every minute that Dwayne Wade Plays.  Ending record 44-38.
  8. GFMilwaukee Bucks 32-25 (Currently 6) – The Bucks will miss Jason Kidd playoff experience. The Greek Freak will continue to make highlights for the rest of the season. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of help and it will take time to re-integrate Jabari Parker in to the team full rotation.   Khris Middleton is a diamond in disguise that the Bucks aren’t fully taking advantage off.  If they fully commit to Parker (which they shouldn’t do) they will see Middleton succeed somewhere else. Ending record 43-39.                    

    Not Tanking but Not Making Strides Forward (in no particular order)

  9. 27580517_418419595237409_356549153913831424_n (002)Detroit Pistons – Acquiring Blake Griffin was treated as when Monty Python found the Holy Grail. Both seem great at the time and will prove worthless overtime. Detroit will find more future success than it would have keeping Harris and Bradley (so that’s a step forward). Sitting 2 Sports out of the playoffs, the Pistons will find their success with Blake Griffin mostly putting people in the stands so they can see amazing dunks (and ignored the team missing the playoffs).  SVG is not going to have an easy summer.  His job is on the line.  The Pistons will have a better year next year, which is something am sure Pistons fans have been telling each other for a while now.
  10. kembaCharlotte Hornets – have more than likely ruined whatever future they had with Kemba Walker. Are already shopping for back office roles. Their biggest attribute is Dwight Howard great bounce back season. Developing young players should be the number 1 priority. With 25 games the Hornets don’t have many options other than to just keep on their average play.  MKG, Malik Monk and so many more fail experiments for the Hornets.  The RESET BUTTON needs to be push.  Most importantly for Kemba give him a chance to be great somewhere else (With the Knicks).
  11. 2015_01_06_3a_KnicksThumb_c0e16New York Knicks – Going in to the 2nd half losing 8 straight. First game is against fellow tanking team the Orlando Magic, so that’s going to be a battle and only the best loser will win. Porzinguis is out (again). Michael Beasley is not the answer. Tim Hardaway Jr was, literally, jumped over by the Greak Freak (and not it wasn’t at the dunk competition). Knicks fan are jumping ship. Why did they sign Mudiay?
  12. chicago_bulls2Chicago Bulls – This team is actually trending up. They knew what was in store for them after trading away Jimmy Butler and getting back an injured Zach Lavine. But the future is brighter than it looks and this season may have been “Meh” for the most part. The Bulls are taking to the fast lane to rebuilding and for the most part with Lauri, Dunn and Lavine the future is couldn’t be any brighter. The Bulls they are not tanking, they are just losing games. That happens.

    Pretending to Tank, Trying Not To Tank, and obviously (sucking at) tanking

  13. SDBrooklyn Nets – Finally have a semi healthy roster. Russell is back. Okafor is finally playing. Spencer Dinwiddie is bringing back the old school mustache and afro. The Nets are pretending to tank. They team they have is a lot better than advertised (when healthy). Somewhere in the Brooklyn Nets main building cheers can be heard because they may suck, but not sucking as much as the Knicks are.
  14. vpn99tgm2kr6kmlmyffgOrlando Magic – The Magic are really trying not to tank. They just don’t have any players that affect the winning column. I think they have realized this and started getting rid of some projects (Elfrid Payton). The Magic roster shows so much potential we all want to see this team win. They should really stop trying not to tank and just start tanking. Go lobby for Trae Young.
  15. 21Atlanta Hawks – there is not a team that sucks so badly at tanking than the Hawks. They need to accept their tanking role. Every night play Collins for 30+ minutes and just throw lobs at him all day long. Keep focusing on bringing in rappers for halftime events, Hot Sauce playing 1-1 with fans and everything else that you’re doing. Just accept it and keep walking like there is nothing happening. The Atlanta Hawks are going to be at the bottom of the East for a very long time. So give the people more Collins and have a better bio for Andrew White III.  Maybe is a genius idea to have a great half time show.