Tuesday Bolts – 4.4.17

Fred Katz: “The 6-foot-11 Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo is a point guard in the most generic sense of the term. He’s the Bucks’ most capable facilitator. He handles the ball at the top of the key and from the wings. He works around ball-screens and finds both shooters outside and bigs down low. But he’s also not defending 1s, a key element of becoming an actual point guard. Instead, the Bucks place him on the back end of their defense. He’s the definition of a point forward. And it’s worked well for Milwaukee, an up-and-coming team that could do damage this postseason. Antetokounmpo has paired a usage rate of 28.3 percent with an assist rate of 26.4 percent. (For reference, Westbrook’s usage is an all-time high of 41 percent to go with his league-leading 54.3 percent assist rate.) But Antetokounmpo’s numbers are hardly low.”

Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider names Andre Roberson as first-team defense: “While Roberson slid to small forward after Kevin Durant’s departure, he still takes the opposition’s best wing scorer, and sometimes even point guards. A power forward in college, Roberson has become an exceptional one-on-one stopper who still uses his interior instincts as a shot blocker.”

Team employees will no longer votes on awards.

Jenni Carlson: “Yes, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is chasing a record that has been around so long that it was set before the triple- double was officially a stat. Crazy, isn’t it? A phrase that has become commonplace in our neck of the woods wasn’t even around when Robertson set the standard. During a week in which triple-double mania could hit its apex — Westbrook could tie the single-season record Tuesday against Milwaukee, could break it Wednesday at Memphis, then could secure a triple- double average for the season Friday at Phoenix — we have become fixated on a record that wasn’t even a thing when it was set. Even though everyone agrees about Robertson having the single-season, triple-double record, the origin of the stat is actually disputed.”

Colin Cowherd says things about Westbrook.

Erik Horne: “If the Thunder clinches the No. 6 seed and faces Houston in the postseason, it won’t be able to outscore arguably the league’s best offense. It’s no secret the Thunder lacks offensive weaponry to get into shootouts with Golden State and Houston. While Westbrook’s run at a triple-double average will be what’s remembered this season, the Thunder’s postseason could end swiftly due to inconsistencies defending the 3.”

Chris Ryan of The Ringer: “Yes. Because of Oscar Robertson, and that’s the end of the argument, but let’s keep going for the hell of it. It also matters because basketball is a team sport, but it doesn’t have to be. Not everything has to be well-spaced, positionally fluid harmony. It can also be a Bad Brains song. Westbrook is an inefficient one-man band, storming the beach every night. What we decide to count, and which of those numbers we value over others, changes over the years. The debate about whether Westbrook’s season is impressive, awe-inspiring, or actually detrimental to the Thunder’s growth is an interesting one that I do not care about at all when I am watching him play.”

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