Wednesday Bolts – 2.15.17

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post: “No guard is better at it than Westbrook, whose rebounding ability has buoyed his triple-double bid and allowed the Thunder to craft a strategy around his unique skill set. Oklahoma City instructs its big men to box out on defense not with the sole aim of snaring rebounds, but with the intent to create space for Westbrook. Westbrook’s rebounding activates Oklahoma City’s best brand of offense. The Thunder entered Monday as the 21st-ranked offense in the NBA, but had scored the third-most fast-break points per game. When Westbrook snares a defensive rebound, he zips down the floor, a fast break unto himself. Essentially, Westbrook serves as his own outlet pass.”

Brett Dawson: “Anthony wanted to be traded to the Knicks in 2011 and has re-signed with them twice. Despite New York’s struggles – it last made the playoffs in 2013 – and the accompanying drama, he’s never publicly demanded a trade. And even as reports surfaced about trade talks with the Cavaliers, Clippers and Celtics, there’s been no sign of significant Thunder interest in Anthony, or vice versa. Strange things happen in the NBA. But if you want to watch Anthony in OKC wearing blue and orange, better play it safe. Do it Wednesday.”

Forbes has OKC as the 17th most valuable.

Erik Horne: “Westbrook won’t be on Thunder Island by himself in his quest for an unprecedented third consecutive All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. There are connections throughout the West team. Kerr’s Warriors staff, which will coach the West, includes former Thunder assistant Ron Adams. Westbrook will be reunited with James Harden, who remains his friend. Thunder rookie Domantas Sabonis will be in Saturday’s Rising Stars Challenge.”

Tim Dahlberg of the AP: “As NBA problems go, the spat between Oakley and Dolan was more of a sideshow than anything. Both bear some blame for the altercation, though it was Dolan who escalated it by issuing a ban on Oakley attending Knicks games and suggesting that he had anger issues or alcohol problems. It could have been another distraction at the All-Star Game that no one wanted. But Silver moved quickly to make sure it wasn’t, just as he moved quickly to move the game from Charlotte when it became clear the law was not going to be changed. This weekend, the focus will be on the best players in the world, as it should always be. But forgive the commissioner if he’s called to take a little bow, too.”

Alex Abrines is going to All-Star Weekend.