Monday Bolts – 4.10.17

Oscar congratulated Westbrook: “Westbrook has also joined me as only the second player ever to average a triple-double for an entire season. My averages in 1961-62 were 30.8 points per game, 12.5 rebounds per game and 11.4 assists per game, the first time anyone had averaged double figures in assists. I could not be happier for him. Congratulations to Russell Westbrook on a magnificent season!”

Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com: “This is how Russell Westbrook was meant to make history and break the Big O’s record. Nitpick some of the rebounds if you want to be a nerd and a party-pooper, but Westbrook making triple-doubles routine this season has not been about stat chasing. It has been about necessity, a remarkable display of a superstar relentlessly doing what his team needed of him to win. His performance Sunday prompted a pair of standing ovations from the Pepsi Center crowd and epitomized what Westbrook’s season has been about. It was a classic display of all-around dominance — 50 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, capped by a 36-foot game-winner at the buzzer — combined with a refusal to let the Oklahoma City Thunder lose.”

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “There is still time to debate who deserves MVP this season. There is still a story to be told of Westbrook and the Thunder’s season, including that matchup with Houston. Sunday was not the storybook ending for OKC, and it’s unlikely that’s what they’ll get this season. What it was, however, was a game that showcased the best of Russell Westbrook, wrapped in that surreal moment where frenzied anticipation gave way to thrilling accomplishment, and finally, jubilation. The MVP might be Westbrook. It might not be. But this season will always belong to him, not just for what he has accomplished in averaging a triple-double, breaking what was once thought to be an unbreakable record for most in a season, or for doing so while leading the league in scoring. It will belong to him because of these games, so many shots to win the game, so many moments see where he took over and won the game himself, so many games where he made reality surreal.”

ESPN Forecast has Russ for MVP.

James Harden endorses Steph Curry for MVP.

Jenni Carlson: “Russell Westbrook should win the MVP. But not because of the triple doubles. Everyone has been fixated on that stat of late. And for good reason. Tuesday, the Thunder guard became the first player since Oscar Robertson 55 years ago to have 41 triple doubles in a season. Then Friday, Westbrook joined Robertson as the only player in NBA history to average a triple double for the season. In a world where we say lots of things are awesome, this truly is. But the records have spawned a belief — because he got all those triple doubles, Westbrook should also get the league’s most valuable player award. If this, then that.”

I wrote something about Westbrook’s historic season. And also we had some cool charts and graphs about it.

Sam Presti says Russ is getting better: “I think he’s getting better,” Presti told ESPN after Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s single-season record with his 42nd triple-double of the season Sunday in a win over the Nuggets. I think he’s become a better player. With players at that level, it’s generally going to happen in these small, incremental ways unless the circumstances change around you. In this case, the circumstances obviously changed. The team is different. It’s been a season of discovery for our team and our organization.”

Nike with a cool video for Russ.

Brian Windhorst says Russ has swung his vote.

Jon Krawczynski of the AP on his MVP pick: “Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City. At least four players have legitimate claim. When we look back on this season in 10 years, Russ’s performance will be the one everyone still talks about.”

Berry Tramel: “But therapy and amazement can’t be enough. Without the winning, without the quest to win, basketball becomes exhibition, and exhibition stinks. Exhibition, when scoreboards don’t matter, is counter to what Westbrook says he stands for and has shown us that for nine seasons. Which is why Sunday was so needed, in the wake of Friday night. In the low point of the Thunder season, OKC was routed by the hapless Phoenix Suns, who had lost 13 straight games and were in full tank mode. The last few minutes of that game were an abomination, nothing more than the Thunder trying to get Westbrook up to 10 assists with the outcome long decided.”

Good mix of Westbrook highlights from the season.

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