440 Comments

THIS IS RUSS

Russell Westbrook had 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting, 10 assists and four turnovers in another rough game for the Lakers' former MVP. He was taken out with 2:34 left in the third quarter and didn't play in the fourth while the Lakers made their comeback.

Westbrook said he was disappointed he couldn't play in the final period, and he was seen consoling James and Davis on the bench after the rally fell short. Westbrook deferred to Vogel's decision, but said he feels he has "earned the right" to close games.

Westbrook got light booing in spots from the home crowd, particularly when he missed an 11-foot jumper in the first half and committed two turnovers in 12 seconds in the second half.

Westbrook called the boos "a sign of respect" and later said basketball wasn't "the end-all, be-all... Whatever comes, cheers, boos, it doesn't really matter."

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> Westbrook called the boos "a sign of respect"

🤯

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That's a man who deserves a LOT of respect.

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Season plus-minus

Steph Curry +492 (#1 in the NBA, +121 over any other player, and +208 over any other Warrior)

LeBron James -18 (#358 in the NBA)

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That second one is a pretty shocking stat. The first one is what anyone who watches him play would expect.

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Now I understand why the Kings are historically (and hysterically) dysfunctional. I will be sincerely sorry for them when The Helicopter will mercilessly dunk on Sabonis' head.

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But is that helicopter human?

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He's definitely feline. A Lion of the Serengeti grassland. A Lioncopter.

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He’s from The Congo, where there are basically no lions. The Serengeti is in Tanzania.

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Lions live in Nyungwe reserve which is less than 50 km. away from Goma. Do you doubt that JFK can walk that distance? :D. Plus, look at the images I posted, isn't that a dunking lion's roar?

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I'm pretty sure he can jump that distance.

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Yes, you're correct about this, but I'm not sure if Stefano was using that comparison because he's from DRC or just because lions are freaking awesome and powerful.

But even if we're trying to be geographically correct here, lions are native to the DRC (although yes, not as many as in other countries in Africa), and just replace Serengeti with savannah grasslands and I think we're good to go.

The Lioncopter lives on!

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Plus, Aardvarkcopter just isn't that intimidating.

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Eye of the beholder. You do NOT want the Aardvarkcopter elevating on you!

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Quick, someone get this to Fitz!

All will be forgiven if he starts to refer to JFK as "the Lioncopter."

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Let's send it to Bukie, he seems to be the one in charge for weird nicknames' assignment.

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LoLakers… their fans are delusional.How do they think they going trade for Dame with 0 assets.

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Easy peasy. Trade Russ for Dame and three first round picks. Gotta equalize the trade for both sides, you know.

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More Swampers than ever.

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The Bucks getting 20 pieced next game. They love to show out on prime time.

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They're 23-5 when their big 3 play. They're elite if healthy.

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

By the way that Mark Daigenault quote about "before sight" is hella dumb. If judgement prior to the trade is useless, then there would never be trades. FOs have to have some idea (and make certain predictions in their mind) before doing the trade. Similarly, observers can also have legitimate opinions about the trade too.

You make decisions (or judgements) with the information you have. If future information comes out that makes your decision bad, there's nothing you can do about that. But decisions have to be made at that time. We have priors (and that's not a bad thing!) and we use them all the time though those priors are not 100% exact. The only thing is that we need to keep updating those priors with the newer information.

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everyone called that Westbrook to LA would be a disaster at the time, and guess what: everyone was right!

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love Loon for the Warriors union rep (Wise as the alternate is interesting)

https://twitter.com/TheNBPA/status/1491074398832726016?s=20&t=teH6ynl2IHBFZgevPCZEHw

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Down goes Looney. Questionable with a quad contusion tomorrow. Hopefully it’s just minor.

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Kuminga starting at the 5 if looney can’t go?

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What about GPII?

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With Sabonis in Sactown, gotta think old friend Damian Jones could be pried pretty easily. He’s improved a lot since we last saw him, and has the key side benefit of not having to learn Kerrball principles with only 25 games left in the season. Any takers?

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Who do we waive? Unless DJ can go two-way

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He’s not eligible for a two-way, so yeah, we’d have to trade or cut someone. Which would be tough, but I’d probably flip, say, Bjelica and a second-rounder for DJones if you twisted my arm.

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I originally read this as “with Sabrina in sactown”…. And was thinking how do you know Sabrina will be in Sacramento and why is she going there?

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Warriors already have 4 players (Dray, Loon, Bjelica, JK) whose best position is the 5 and Wiseman coming back. No need for another big.

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Dray out, Loon questionable, Bjelica out, JK is a raw rookie. It all depends on guys being healthy and back issues are no joke.

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Bjelica and a second?

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can't Bjelica veto any trade as a one year vet min guy?

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That could be awkward. Even after he vetoes it, the FO has basically said, "We were hoping to get rid of you for someone we think would be better for us..."

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Ha! For sure he vetoes any trade to Sac… lol

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After spending 3 [?] yrs there already.

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

White players always referred to as "sneaky athletic" and black players always referred to as "beasts". Hard to untether language from centuries of racist world views.

Edit: This was in reference to Connaughton being referred to as sneaky athletic by the commentator after a dunk.

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Is this necessarily true, though? I feel like I hear announcers call Steph and Harden "sneaky athletic" all the time, and Steven Adams (rightfully) called a "beast" around the rim.

Jokic, meanwhile, is probably called "sneaky athletic beast" way more often than he cares for.

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Always exceptions obviously (your Adams one is a good example), it's a general point.

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Pretty sure Ostertag was never referred to as sneaky athletic. Of course, I doubt he was ever referred to as athletic, so...

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Sneaky athletic is definitely a white thing but black players beasts? That's a stretch, I'm sure jokic gets called a beast more then marvin bagley

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More a soccer thing than basketball to be honest (white players are considered technical while black players are considered physical often times).

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CR7 is sneaky athletic or is a beast? Messi is sneaky athletic or is a beast? Neymar? Mappe'? Ibrahimovic is a beast or is sneaky athletic?

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Existence of exceptions does not mean the general point is untrue.

And even in your examples, Messi and Mbappe are good examples of the larger point. Messi is usually considered to have a lot of incredible technical ability (rightfully so, he's incredible) but his athleticism (in speed, balance, deceleration and agility) is often overlooked (especially in his prime years from around 2011-2014). Mbappe is considered far more of a pace merchant and a "beast" whereas fewer people acknowledge his incredible technical ability and IQ in making exceptional runs.

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Definitely not beasts: Ronaldinho, Pele, Romario, Cafu, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos... or pretty much anyone famous who played for Brazil.

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I disagree

Harry Kane is a beast

Gareth Bale is a beast

Neymar is sneaky athletic

Douglas Costa is sneaky athletic

Vlahovic is a beast

Ps I play soccer as center forward ;-)

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This is a really good point. Messi had amazing acceleration in his prime years. They even had to change some things in his training and style of play because of his injuries due to how explosive his fast twitch muscle fibers were. This gets overshadowed because he is one of the all time greats in technique of course, and even vision. Iniesta had amazing ball control as well, but never exploded through a whole team on a dribble - his athleticism was actually pretty key to his incredible peak. But generally on those dribbles everyone just talks about his insane close control as he gets by defenders.

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

Everything you've described about Messi and Mbappe seem to me like fair descriptions of these players, though. When I think of Messi, the first image that comes to mind is his technical brilliance and creative genius, followed second by his (seriously shocking) speed and agility. NBA analogues might be Steph Curry, Magic, prime CP3. In the NFL, Rodgers and Mahomes.

When I think about Mbappe (and CR7), the first impression is the jaw-dropping top speed and athletic gift. Of course both of them are also all-time greats in their technical ability, creativity, and IQ, but it's probably the second thing most people think of (myself included). NBA analogues might be MJ, prime DWade, and maybe Ja nowadays. In the NFL I think of Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Brett Favre (for his throwing arm).

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According to my highly proprietary and always 100% correct algorithm, the answer is:

CR7 - beast

Messi - sneaky athletic

Neymar - sneaky athletic

Mappe - beast

Ibrahimovic - hmm... probably beast

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I've seen Ibra playing live in december and he is a master of soccer tecnique

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The NFL might be the worst (as usual). The racial divides across positions is just off-the-charts, e.g. punters/linemen/coaches being nearly unanimously white.

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

It’s not the language that’s hard to untether… it’s the deeply ingrained subconscious prejudice.

The arc of the moral universe is very long and bends very, very slowly toward justice… very slowly

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If the West stays as it’s trending, I don’t relish facing Memphis in the second round …. but I wouldn’t relish facing the Denver-Dallas winner either.

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Bring 'em on - if Dubs are healthy, nobody lasts more than 6 games against them in the playoffs

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Total off topic: 350+ comments on an off day article…nice work DNHQ!

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'Tis been a crazy day in the NBA.

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Blazers Edge has over 1500 comments since the CJ trade. Imagine if they ever trade Dame?

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I mean, they traded McCollum and Covington for prospects and picks, surely he's soon to go?

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What about Sac? Wouldn't be surprised if there are 0 comments there, with the fanbase just sitting in stunned silence and resignation.

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Blazers Ledge might become a thing

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Lol

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Wow, yeah, I suppose there’s a lot of stuff to mull over up north!

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Hmm… do they mourn and not post or rage their haters of the FO in a blaze of 10,000 fire emojis?

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Personally, I like that the Suns are winning a lot. I don't want them thinking they need to make any big trades even though the healthy Warriors are beating them in 5 or 6.

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I was scared they would acquire Grant for the Saric contract + future assets (like Smith and picks). He'd be the perfect counter for Draymond at the 5 lineups if Crowder isn't able to cut it as the smallball 5.

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One unfortunate thing I read today is that there is "mutual interest" between the Suns and Thaddeus Young. I'm hoping it's similar to the "mutual interest" between Drummond and the Nets and that the Warriors can sign Young to both improve their team and stop the Suns from improving.

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Who are we cutting/trading to sign Thad?

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JTA barely played last night despite the Warriors missing Wiseman, Green, Bjelica, and a half of Iguodala, his importance has unfortunately diminished due to Kuminga's emergence as a smallball center. To me he's the obvious candidate if someone of Young's caliber becomes available, I'm fine with hanging onto him if no one becomes available though.

Not to mention, if they cut JTA and no one signs him, they could theoretically re-sign him on the two-way if they were willing to cut Chiozza or Weatherspoon (which means they'd still have his RFA rights this summer). I don't know if another team would sign him or not.

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> I don’t know if another team would sign him or not

After he wins the dunk contest, a forlorn hope

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No way he wins dunk contest. I just don't think he has the hops for it.

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objectively, replacing JTA with Thad Young probably improves the team

personally, it would make me sad

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Will Thad have the timing of cuts and passes and pin downs that JTA has? Will be the engine of effort if the team is flat in a game? Will he be a lockerroom glue guy? He has to be a hell of a player to risk the current vibe over.

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Or Kerr is giving the youngsters some longer minutes in the mostly meaningless games before the ASB… who knows. JTA is a known quantity around here, and we’re clearly not fighting for every win right now.

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True. I do still expect JTA to be more of a playoff player than Kuminga despite recent developments, but I think the bigger issue for JTA is that there's not much of a reason to play him ahead of Iguodala. He's Iguodala insurance which isn't nothing but imo not as valuable as Looney insurance.

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One of JTA or Bjelica if it came to that. I would go for JTA in that case, but I can see arguments for both.

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I’d probably vote to move Bjelica if I had to pick one, since I think it’d affect team chemistry less.

I think I’d rather have Hartenstein than Thad, though.

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

Bro, I've been pounding the table that Hartenstein is ridiculously underrated for a while now and if he can stop fouling so much + get more minutes . . . I truly do believe he can become an All Star.

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do I remember correctly that Bjelica (and other 1 year vet min guys) are literally untradeable unless they agree to it?

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The chemistry argument is definitely fair, I would be pretty sad if they actually ever did cut JTA.

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Clippers ain't buying out Hartenstein though.

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Post-trade deadline, they can start losing.

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fuck Marcus Morris man

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Again I dont understand how someone doesn't pop him in the mouth

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

Flagrant-2 Morris for fouling Ja hmm...

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Feb 9, 2022·edited Feb 9, 2022

Ja shrugged him off like it was nothing, and the Grizz proceeded to absolutely dismantle the Clips like they were furniture from IKEA.

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The only difficult game left for the Suns before the All-Star Break is the vs. Bucks on Thursday. I swear, if the Suns win that one....

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The Suns seem a regular season team. They are way too regular, balanced, smart, they own the first seed already unless a disastrous injury happens. But WCF will be another music altogether. They better prepare for 3-4 Klay's 4th quarters.

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Feb 10, 2022·edited Feb 10, 2022

Yeah, they have that Utah feel, and frankly, so do the Bucks.

Last year was a usurpation.

(As were the previous two years.)

By that I mean, teams that had earned a reputation of "playing down" in the postseason caught a bunch of breaks.

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Patty Mills: 22 minutes … -47

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