Forbes on Russell Westbrook joining Jordan Brand: “Adding Westbrook to the Jordan Brand line is a smart move for both the player and the brand. Although there are more than a dozen basketball player endorsers, Westbrook joins Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony as the top NBA endorsers of Jordan Brand. As if joining the ranks of Paul and Anthony aren’t enough, Westbrook can be rest assured that whatever Jordan Brand merchandise he’s repping will be very well marketed. Paul’s elaborate “Frozen in Time” stunt showed last week is proof enough.”
Sean Deveney of Sporting News says Westbrook is like Tiny Archibald: “Like Archibald, Westbrook is not much of a perimeter shooter, though he has been making progress in that area. And also like Archibald, Westbrook’s style has made him something of a lightning rod around the league—he is an aggressive scorer, and even if his shots are not falling, he will continue to shoot.”
Zach Lowe on the B.S. Report talking about James Harden (about 29 minutes in).
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com: “But every so often, I’ll experience a momentary, private cringe of panic. Almost all of those reporters and many of those players know I’m gay. This is a locker room, and there are half-naked and naked men around. My mind is full of basketball, X’s and O’s, and the editor back on the East Coast who’s up late waiting for my story. But am I freaking anybody out? Do people think I’m here to leer? It is a little mortifying to imagine anybody bringing it up. And I’m in a locker room for 20 minutes now and again — and never, say, in the showers. Now imagine being gay as a player on the team. That concern would loom over everything.”
Jeremy Lin on his matchup with Russell Westbrook: “I don’t think I made plays,” Lin said. “I definitely didn’t stop Westbrook defensively. And offensively, I think a little too passive. I’m not sure. I just really wasn’t myself. I’m going to try to be more aggressive, make more plays for myself and for others and just do a better job than that.”
Darnell Mayberry on Reggie Jackson: “Soon, Jackson pulled his own surprise, snatching the primary backup minutes and capitalizing on them so much that he walked out of State Farm Arena as the game’s second-best guard behind only Russell Westbrook. Mind you, in addition to Maynor, who made his debut in the second half, the game also featured “Linsanity,” or simply Jeremy Lin, and Kevin Martin, the Rockets starting backcourt. But it was Jackson’s improved leadership that gave him a leg up. He scored four points with five assists, one rebound and one steal in 16 minutes. Yet as is typical with Jackson, he was his toughest critic.”
Interesting piece by Rohan Cryuff of At the Hive on “+6″: “Offensive efficiency differential, then, is just the difference between a team’s offensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions) and the league average for the season. If a team scored 110 points per 100 possessions (as Oklahoma City did in 2012) and the league average was 105 per 100 possessions, the team offensive efficiency differential would be +5. The same goes on defense, allowing for the fact that a lower number is a positive on that end of the floor. So a team allowing 100 points per 100 possessions (like Miami in 2012) playing in a league with an average of 105 points per 100 possessions would be a +5 on defense. Add offense and defense together, and you get the total team efficiency differential. And that’s where the notion of “+6″ enters the picture.”