Column: Western Conference week that was
Published: Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 21:12
This past week was one of the most exciting weeks we have seen in the NBA regular season in quite some time. It had everything from walk-off buzzer beaters to 27-point comebacks to the possible building of a new rivalry.
One remarkable moment was when Russell Westbrook stepped up to the role of Batman in Oklahoma when he drained a game winning three in overtime over the Golden State Warriors. The play was very similar to the Shabazz Napier’s buzzer beater Monday night because in both instances the original play call failed but a player was able to tip the ball out for a second chance opportunity. The game was a huge morale victory for the Thunder because it came only a week after the Warriors’ Andre Iguodala nailed a game winner over the Thunder in Oakland.
Another headline during the week was the remarkable play of “The Big Fundamental,” Tim Duncan. Duncan found the fountain of youth last season and I do not believe he has any intention of ever leaving it. Duncan became the oldest player in history to record a 20-point, 20-rebound game on Monday night against Atlanta. That is not even the most impressive part. Duncan also hit the game-winning jumper with .4 seconds left to give the Spurs a 102-100 victory over the Hawks. Duncan’s smooth 17-footer left Hawks fans helpless. He continues to prove the critics wrong in the fact that he ages like fine wine.
One of the most intriguing moments of the week that made people laugh was when DeMarcus Cousins refused to shake hands with J.J. Reddick after he threw him to the floor chasing a rebound. Cousins has made it clear to the public that he does not want his teammates shaking hands with Clippers. In fact, he refused to let Isaiah Thomas shake hands with Chris Paul earlier in the week. The main thing to take away from this story is nothing! This is not a rivalry. Cousins has no reason to hate the Clippers. You cannot be in a rivalry if your team is historically bad and cannot win consistently. What are we going to see next, a Bobcats vs. Timberwolves rivalry? It is all for media publicity. If Cousins really wanted to be a leader in the locker room, he would act like one instead of getting suspended from games every year.
One of the most shocking comebacks this week was the Warriors 27-point comeback win over the depleted Raptors. The Warriors were down by 18 points in the 4th quarter until the “Splash Brothers” erupted. Thompson and Curry combined for a total of 49 points and 17 assists in the game. The most amazing number, however, was the number zero. The Raptors collected zero, I repeat, zero defensive rebounds in the 4th quarter! This means the Warriors were making almost every shot and when they missed, they got every rebound. This was possible because they now have size in the paint. Bogut has had a big impact on the rebounding and inside presence this year. Rebounding was the missing piece of the puzzle last year for the Warriors.
There were many high points in the NBA this week, but those ones were the most memorable. There were also low points during the week, such as the drink scam Jason Kidd tried to pull to get a timeout, but hey, that is the Eastern Conference.