The NBA League Pass game of the week had to be Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Minnesota Timberwolves. Both teams were playing at a really high level and looked like legitimate contenders to make the Western Conference Finals.
Here is a video highlight reel I put together (it’s a little bit grainy, I’ve got to figure out how to get the HD League Pass going) showcasing Wiggins vs. Westbrook in the final four/five minutes of the game.
Four quick thoughts from the video:
- Even with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George around him, the crunch time strategy was still primarily “Russ, go score.” Including the deep 3-ball (0:22 – 0:27) a couple steps in front of the “T” in Thunder. But teams can no longer double Russ or clog the lane, otherwise, PG13 or Melo will be open and make them pay.
- Wiggins, still only 22-years-old, already has an iconic signature move. That spin move is lethal. Look how much ground is covered, he carves through three defenders (1:12 to 1:15)
- Carmelo should have played more 4 in his career. His “almost game-winner” (1:48 – 1:56) was a prime example of him being guarded by a traditional power forward (Taj Gibson) whose instinct is to help protect the rim when Russ was driving, leaving Melo open long enough to hit the go-ahead three.
- Steven Adams completes their Big Four. He’s an essential piece to the Thunder starting five. Crashes the offensive boards while Russ, PG13, and Carmelo launch from outside. The sequence starts at 3:10 shows this, but also Karl-Anthony Towns making the young guy mistake of turning to look at the hoop rather than putting a body on Adams.
By: Chris O’Brien