Chris Palmer of ESPN.com on Russell Westbrook’s needed areas of improvement: “Clearly, Westbrook needs to reevaluate his approach. He’ll get his points but needs to become a savvier game manager and embrace the role of primary facilitator. The challenge for him is to become more selective when it comes to scoring opportunities. Because Westbrook can beat just about anyone to the rim, doing so often becomes his primary focus, which can come at the expense of setting his teammates up. Developing an 8-to-12-foot pull-up in the lane would also be a wise decision, as it would give him a nearly indefensible tool that would allow him to cut back on his forays to the rim and score more efficiently.”
Jenni Carlson writes that the system isn’t broken, just the owners are: “When weeks turn to months and emotions bubble over during the lockout, I hope everyone will remember the true villains in this whole thing. Bad owners. Not good owners. Not players. Not the NBA. Bad owners wanted to be bailed out the last time the league locked out its players, and a little over a decade later, they want to be saved again.”
Scott Carefoot of TBJ with a great point on the rhetoric of the lockout: “As for the players, most fans don’t have a hell of a lot of sympathy for their grievances. “They’re going to roll back my salary so I’ll only make $4 million a season instead of $5 million! WAAAAH!” I’m not saying both sides don’t have the right to stick to their guns, but if they think they’re going to make any strides towards ending this battle by engaging in wars of words in the media, they’re grossly mistaken. We don’t care about the details, we just want you to FIX IT!”
Deron Williams signed with a Turkish team. But Sam Amick of SI says not to expect a bunch of others to follow: “Nets officials can’t comment on Williams because of the lockout, but it’s a safe bet they were less than thrilled to hear this news. New Jersey is hoping to make him the face of its franchise next summer when he’s expected to become a free agent, just in time for the team to make its long-awaited move to Brooklyn. Yet agent Happy Walters is skeptical that Williams will ever play for Besiktas even if the lockout allows for it, and he certainly doesn’t see his most high-profile client, New York forward Amar’e Stoudemire, taking that route.”
Stephen A. Smith says Williams’ move is dumb: “It’s not happening because those mid-level players are the ones who’ll need the money the most. They’re the ones who’ll complain the loudest. And the one argument the stars normally would have on their side, about sticking together and standing unified like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady and others have done in the NFL, fly right out the window with any credibility they once had. All because of acts of selfishness, as usual, committed by the players. Of their own volition, no less.”
The good people at Tree and Leaf are hosting a moving party at their new location (8405 N. Rockwell Suite 11) on July 30. Free shirts, Coop beer and Big Truck Tacos while supplies last between 7 and 11 p.m.