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Tag:Ben Golliver
Posted on: October 29, 2010 10:14 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:13 pm
 

The Game Changer, 10.29.10: Orlando is good

The Orlando Magic came out strong, John Wall debuts, Utah looks lost, Gordon Hayward cut his amazing hair and Hakim Warrick puts two Jazz on a poster.  Posted by Ben Golliver

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: ORLANDO THROTTLES WASHINGTON

Somebody forgot to tell the Orlando Magic that they weren't playing the Atlanta Hawks.

The Magic brought the same brand of soul-crushing domination they used to sweep Atlanta out of the playoffs last year to their Thursday night season-opener against the Washington Wizards, and the game got ugly quickly.

The Magic nearly doubled up the Wizards in the first quarter (29-15) and suckered Washington into settling for contested jumper after contested jumper, cruising to a 128-83 win  in the new Amway Center. It was too easy, and Dwight Howard posted 23 points and 10 rebounds while barely breaking a sweat, watching his team's second unit finish off the win during the fourth quarter.

Orlando's strategy never got much more complicated than, "We'll make shots while you miss shots." Orlando finished 43-77 from the field compared to 29-78 for Washington.  Wizards rookie point guard John Wall was a major culprit, as he shot just 6-19 in his NBA debut, clanking tons of pull-up jumpers from the 15-18 foot range.

But you can't pin this all on Wall: most of his teammates didn't bother showing up to help ease his transition to the professional game. The Wizards were out-rebounded 53-25 and they had no answers defensively as Orlando moved the ball well and attacked from all sides.

(For a full recap of Wall's first game as a professional right here . It wasn't all bad, by any means.)

This felt like a statement game for Orlando. But that statement wasn't "Welcome to the NBA, John Wall." It was more like, "Take notice: We still plan on holding down the Southeast Division." After an undefeated preseason and a pretty season-opener, the Magic look more than ready to prove that point against the new-look Miami Heat on Friday night.

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Dwight Howard:  23 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 blocks, 7-9 shooting, +24 (plus/minus).

Plus, just one foul in 30 minutes of action. Dominating.

Honorable mention goes to...

Hakim Warrick:
18 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 6-11 shooting.

and...

Paul Millsap
: 19 points, 13 boards, 1 assist, 1 setal, 2 blocks, 9-13 shooting.

DON'T MISS:

Ken Berger reports that Oklahoma City's Jeff Green and Detroit's Rodney Stuckey will not be receiving contract extensions. Meanwhile, it appears free agent center Erick Dampier has made up his mind: he's taking what little talent he has to Houston.

PANIC TIME QUESTION MARK:

By Royce Young

With about five minutes left in the game, Deron Williams pulled up, looked right at rookie Gordon Hayward and screamed, "Go through!" Williams was visibly frustrated and ended up firing a one-armed strike right at Hayward to really emphasize that frustration. At the next timeout, Williams continued to pound on the rookie, demonstrably gesturing what he wanted from Hayward.

But that wasn't even the worst of it for the Jazz. With a score of 110-94 in the Suns favor at the buzzer, what was left of the Jazz's home crowd booed the team. Can you believe that? Booing, in game two.

I guess those things tend to happen when your team starts 0-2 with both games being fairly non-competitive. Especially when there were high expectations coming in to the season.

Most didn't see the Jazz coming up empty in the opening week of the season and with a made over roster, it's easy to point at the new pieces not gelling. An 0-2 start wasn't expected, especially after an 8-0 preseason, but it's early. Oh it's so early. Don't press any kind of panic button if you're a Jazz enthusiast. In fact, don't even mention anything of the like. Jerry Sloan will have this straightened out soon enough.

Last season, Utah started out the season 1-3 before closing November winning six of seven en route to 53 wins and the fifth seed in the West. It took a little time to put it together, but it was all where it needed to be eventually.

And this season, Utah is retooling after losing Carlos Boozer, Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver. The replacements are solid in Al Jefferson, Raja Bell and Hayward. But it'll take a little time for everything to be put together.

The average defeat for Utah in the first two is 19. The Jazz have given up 110 points in both games. But take into consideration that Utah has faced two quality, up-tempo teams to start the season. Not exactly ideal opponents when you're trying to work out the kinks of a new offense and defense with a number of new players.

Jazz fans aren't used to watching their guys lose at home. Especially not by double-digits. The Jazz offense was out of sync at times, playing a more one-on-one than you typically see in Sloan's flex offense. The ball didn't move well, the Jazz didn't shoot well and defensively, there were breakdowns often.

But it will get sorted out. It might take some bruises and a few more boos from the home crowd, but the October version of Utah won't at all be the same as the March version. I'm pretty sure you can count on that. 

WHIMSY:

Utah Jazz rookie Gordon Hayward showed off a new buzz cut during Thursday's loss to the Phoenix Suns.  That news was seriously lamentable, given the amazing helmet Hayward had been rocking. Take a look at the air flowing through his mullet wig.  gordon-hayward

Upon further inspection of this photo, Hayward appears to have planted Chia Pet seeds on Steve Nash's hair and then transplanted the result onto his own head with super glue.

 

VIDEO CLIP MANIA:

Phoenix Suns forward Hakim Warrick puts both Raja Bell and Paul Millsap of the Utah Jazz on a poster. Video courtesy of NBARauf on YouTube

 

ONE FINAL THOUGHT:

Poor Mickael Pietrus is buried on the Orlando Magic bench. Deep. Pietrus, noted Ben Q. Rock , didn't check into the game for Orlando until the fourth quarter, when the Magic were already up 30+.

Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.
Posted on: October 29, 2010 1:12 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:13 pm
 

Golden State Warriors sale delayed again

The sale of the Golden State Warriors has reportedly been delayed again. Posted by Ben Gollivermonta-ellis The Golden State Warriors have been known, first and foremost, for their insane pace, eschewing defense for run-and-gun fun. But when it comes to the franchise's sale, things are moving glacially. Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com reports that Joe Lacob, who agreed to purchase the Warriors from previous owner Chris Cohan over the summer, will not officially complete the transaction and transfer of power on Friday, as previously expected. 
Well, turns out Joe Lacob isn’t going to be the owner of the Warriors by Friday, which was something NBA commissioner David Stern had wanted.   Looks like it’s going to be November.  
Steinmetz also notes that the official deadline for the deal is Dec. 31, but that eveything appears to be "on track."   Speaking of on track, the Warriors started the season off in impressive fashion, running past the Houston Rockets 132-128, thanks to a career-high 46 points from guard Monta Ellis.  It's now been three and a half months since the sale agreement was announced as "official." If only Ellis could help Lacob get this process back in the fast lane. 
Posted on: October 29, 2010 12:32 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:14 pm
 

Grading Wizards guard John Wall's NBA debut

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall made his NBA debut on Thursday. How did Wall do and how did it compare to the debuts of other elite point guards? Posted by Ben Golliverjohn-wall

The Great Wall of China wasn’t built in a day, and neither was John Wall’s NBA Hall of Fame résumé.

Wall,  the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, made his NBA debut for the Washington Wizards on Thursday night, going head-to-head with one of the league’s perennial powers, the Orlando Magic. It wasn’t a pretty sight for the Wizards: a 112-83 defeat that, remarkably, was even more thorough than the score suggests.

Wall’s debut was a clunker – he struggled mightily with his jump shot, finishing just 6-19 from the field – but it wasn’t all bad. 

“He’s quick, he’s fearless, he seems like a floor general out there controlling the team, and that’s a good start,” Orlando Magic guard Vince Carter told TNT’s Craig Sager at halftime. A good start was about the best Wall could hope for, debuting against one of the league’s least forgiving defenses. 

Despite the blowout loss, there were both promising signs and areas for improvement. Let’s break down John Wall's NBA debut and grade it out.

Playing Time:  A-

Wall played 35 minutes tonight, including the entire first and third quarters. He committed just three fouls and pushed the pace whenever possible, so he aced two early tests for rookie point guards: avoiding unnecessarily dumb mistakes while playing defense and being properly conditioned to play heavy minutes against big, physical defenders.

Running The Offense: B-

Wall possesses a number of abilities that make him an ideal NBA point guard on the offensive side of the court. He has the off-the-dribble quickness and passing ability to be lethal in the high screen and roll. He locates his passes very well. His mentality is a solid hybrid between attacking and pass-first, so he is able to generate points for himself and open looks for his teammates simultaneously.

Tonight, the Orlando Magic dared him to shoot the pull-up jumper, and he couldn’t resist, nor could he knock it down consistently. None of his attempts were truly ill-advised, but many were far too passive. Wall will learn, and learn quickly, that just because a team gives him a good shot doesn’t mean he can’t generate a better one.

The passivity spread to his teammates too, and while he hit Washington’s perimeter shooters on the money time after time, they simply couldn’t knock down shots. The Wizards managed just 15 points in the entire first quarter and shot just 21.1% from 3-point range on the night.

The open shots that the Wizards did knock down, though, were almost all created by Wall. He found fellow guard Kirk Hinrich for multiple 3-pointers and set up both Cartier Martin and Andray Blatche for jumpers. Wall finished with nine assists; his teammates potentially left another nine on the table.

In the future, Wizards coach Flip Saunders will want Wall to increase his assertiveness, especially from the perimeter in the team’s halfcourt sets, to increase his team’s overall energy. Wall avoids a lower grade in this category because of the strength of the competition. Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard limits any attacking point guard’s ability to break down the interior of a defense, and Howard swatted Wall on multiple occasions Thursday night.

Scoring/Finishing: C

Given how often he touches the ball and his immense ability in the open court, Wall should have no trouble averaging 15+ points per game immediately. Tonight, he struggled hitting the open shot, finishing at the rim and he wasn’t able to get to the free throw line as frequently as star players in the NBA usually do. His point total reflected those struggles.

Howard’s ability to contest layups and runners played a big part, and when Wall was able to get free in transition his finishing was markedly better. In one instance, he shook Chris Duhon so hard with a head fake near the rim that Duhon wasn’t even able to gather himself to jump as Wall completed the uncontested layup. Whenever Wall was able to push the tempo, even in semi-transition against a set Orlando defense, the head start opened better creases for him to get to the rim. Washington will learn that the tempo will never be too fast with the ball in his hands: more good things will happen than bad.

Play making/Passing: B

Wall made far, far more good reads than bad reads, and his three turnovers came on the rare occasions he tried to make something out of nothing. As mentioned, his teammates did him no favors with their cold shooting. Wall was a bit tentative with his passing, preferring to hit the safe, open man rather than thread the needle. Elite NBA point guards are able to do both, and Wall didn’t show that ability on day one like he did last season at the University of Kentucky.

His best plays, both going to the basket and setting up teammates, came in transition. His first NBA basket came when Howard goaltended his coast-to-coast layup attempt, and he drew multiple fouls on Magic defenders that were trying to slow him down.

One promising playmaking flash came when Wall crossed over at the top of the key, losing his defender completely and hitting a wide open passing lane to Hilton Armstrong, who was cutting to the hoop. The Magic were forced to foul Armstrong to prevent the bucket.

On-Ball Defense: B

Wall competes very hard on the ball and his long arms caused some problems for Magic point guard Jameer Nelson. Wall was able to cleanly pick off one entry pass and he harassed Nelson into a few other bad decisions.

He gets docked points here because Magic guard Quentin Richardson was able to exploit his size advantage twice, taking Wall into the post when the two were cross-matched, getting one basket and forcing Wall to foul the second time. Wall also had a poor close out on Carter, who was able to blow by him to the basket, drawing a late slap foul for an and-one.

Team Defense: Incomplete

The Wizards didn’t play much team defense tonight, so it’s really hard to assess this properly. The Magic picked them apart with ease, shooting 55.8% as a team on the evening. Wall made the appropriate rotations, when it came to that, but was often a non-factor on the weakside as his teammates watched open Magic shooters drain from everywhere.

Rebounding: C

Wall was a non-factor on both the offensive and defensive glass, which should come as no surprise because his team was out-rebounded, 53-25. You can’t really blame a point guard for those numbers, but Wall may need to expend more energy crashing the glass as the season wears on, if his team’s bigs plan on disappearing so completely on a regular basis.

The one rebound Wall did grab was quite nice, as he immediately pushed the pace in transition, setting up Armstrong in the paint. Unfortunately, Armstrong was whistled for a player control foul.

Turnovers: A-

All three of Wall’s turnovers came in the few moments he looked like he was rushing. Two came on jump passes, and another came on the final possession of the first quarter, when he looked for a dribble drive and dish that simply wasn’t there.  Considering the quality of the Magic defense, how many touches Wall had tonight and his past problems with turnovers, like at this year’s Summer League, there’s no shame at all in committing three turnovers.

Overall: B-

It’s hard to give Wall anything better than a B- for his NBA debut, given that his team was blown out. With that said, it’s equally difficult to be hard on him given the circumstances. Wall managed to play calm, intelligent and, at times, exhilarating basketball in a showcase game on TNT against an elite defense. That’s a positive first step, despite the ugly shooting and stretches of hesitant play.

Wall finished with 14 points, one rebound, nine assists, three steals and three turnovers in 35 minutes during his NBA debut. Here’s a look at how that line compares to the NBA debuts of other elite point guards.

john-wall-table All numbers courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com.
Posted on: October 28, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:12 pm
 

Miami Heat haven't sold out home opener yet

The Miami Heat have reportedly not yet sold out their home opener against the Orlando Magic.
Posted by Ben Golliver
While the Miami Heat didn't have any problem drawing television viewers for their season opener in Boston against the Celtics -- 7.4 million people reportedly tuned in -- the same cannot be said for gate attendance in both Philadelphia Wednesday night and Miami on Friday night. Henry Abbott reported Wednesday night that he was able to walk into Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia and purchase tickets while the 76ers vs. Heat game was underway.  Abbott wrote that he had plenty of tickets to choose from.  And Brian Windhorst reports on Twitter Thursday that Miami Heat sources have indicated that "several hundred tickets [are] left for their home opener" against the Orlando Magic on Friday night.  While it's one thing to not sell tickets on the road in Philadelphia, a town that has endured a lot of bad basketball in recent years, it's quite another to not receive a King's welcome for the team's regular-season home opener, against a major division and conference rival and played at a marquee time (Friday night).  While the game will no doubt sell out by tip off tomorrow night, Thursday's report raises two questions. First, what does this say about NBA ticket prices if millions watch at home but 10,000s aren't piling in to see history first-hand? Second, if the online and television interest nationally is so much greater than the local interest, have we seriously underestimated the number of people who are tuning in solely to see James, Wade, Bosh and company fail?
Posted on: October 28, 2010 11:04 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:12 pm
 

The Game Changer 10.28.10

Blake Griffin impresses in his debut, Russell Westbrook gets way up, Thabo Sefalosha talks block and "The Most Interesting Man in the World" makes a cameo in Los Angeles.
Posted by Ben Golliver

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: BLAKE GRIFFIN MASHES IN HIS NBA DEBUT

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was the Talk of Twitter Wednesday night, charging out of the gate with astonishing energy in the first quarter of his NBA debut, dropping jaws and immediately earning rave reviews from commentators and fans alike.  First things first: if you haven't seen the video of his right-handed alley-oop catch followed by his left-handed putback slam, both of which took place in the game's opening five minutes, then go here right now.  Griffin's energy and fearlessness in his return from a season-ending injury last year stood out most prominently, but his all-around game shouldn't be overlooked. His stat line speaks to his game-changing ability - 20 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, and a steal - and the only downside was that his Clipper teammates and coaching staff apparently forgot he was on the team down the stretch. While he's not yet a finished product, Griffin is by no means raw. He did almost all of his work around the basket tonight, finishing 6-10 on layups and dunks, while shooting 2-4 from outside the immediate basket area. There's a pro and a con to those numbers. The upside? He's attacking the basket relentlessly, both off the dribble and while crashing the offensive boards (he had nine offensive rebounds, and it felt like 29). The downside? Defenses will adjust quickly, daring him to shoot the mid-range jumper, a shot that is in his toolbox but that he didn't look particularly eager to shoot tonight.  Forget the nit-picking, the kid is special, and he set a high standard for his main competition for Rookie of the Year - Washington Wizards point guard John Wall - to match tomorrow night, when he makes his NBA regular season debut. Keep reading for a frame-by-frame look of one of Griffin's prettiest offensive moves, a stunning 360 degree spin move that left the Portland defense flat-footed.

GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Russell Westbrook:  28 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steal, 1 block, 8-15 shooting Two of Westbrook's 28 points came in spectacular fashion : a must-see coast-to-coast drive and dunk. Honorable mentions go to... Joakim Noah: 18 points, 19 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals, 7-13 shooting and... Monta Ellis:  46 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 18-24 shooting

DON'T MISS:

Ken Berger was on hand for the Miami Heat's first win of the 2010-2011 season in Philadelphia. He wonders when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will start clicking?

FRAME-BY-FRAME SPIN MOVE ANALYSIS:


OK, back to Blake Griffin.  Below you'll see a frame-by-frame look at a second-quarter spin move Griffin executed against Portland's Dante Cunningham. Let me set the scene a little bit. Frame 1: Griffin received the ball at the elbow with his Clipper teammates standing around in semi-hopeless fashion. With all five Blazer defenders eying him, Griffin slowly took a dribble to his left toward the paint, lulling Cunningham to sleep a little bit. Frame 2: Cunningham, an undersized power forward with good core strength and lateral quickness, trusts his defensive abilities on the perimeter and attempts to body Griffin to force a pass or tough turnaround shot. Rudy Fernandez dives down to make life for Griffin a touch more difficult but he doesn't commit fully, and Griffin is able to continue operating with relative calm. Frame 3: Griffin absorbs the body contact from Cunningham and explodes off of it, rotating nearly 360 degrees towards his strong hand with a reverse pivot and taking a monster gather step towards the basket in the process. The result is as explosive as it looks in the freeze frame: Griffin was in one place and then instantly in another, while Cunningham barely has time to react. Portland's help defenders are similarly stunned, as Brandon Roy stays home on the corner shooter and new Blazers big man, the aging Fabricio Oberto, has no chance to come over from the weak side to help. Frame 4: While Cunningham makes a game effort to recover and contest the shot, Griffin has created a clean look at the rim at close range, and he converts on the move. His quickness into his jump ensures no one will be able to block the shot. As the clock shows, the entire move, including the original dribble, took place in just two seconds.
blake-griffin

WHIMSY:

"The Most Interesting Man in the World" of Dos Equis fame took in the action between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. Seated in front of him appears to be a member of Napoleon Dynamite's extended family. most-interesting-man Video Clip Mania: Oklahoma City guard Thabo Sefalosha talks about how he sent back a Luol Deng shot attempt. Via Royce Young. 

HERO OF THE DAY:

Cleveland needed a hero to ice their huge win. Anthony Parker, with an assist from the clock crew, stepped up and became that hero.

 



CONFETTI AT THE BUZZER

By Matt Moore
  • Russell Westbrook was simply devastating for the Thunder last night, slashing all the way through. He was lethal off in-bounds, off the rebound, and especially in transition. Derrick Rose matched him in points and assists. It was a classic point guard battle, though Westbrook killed Rose in terms of efficiency.
  • Derrick Favors was surprisingly good in limited minutes yesterday. He was active on the glass, that you'd expect, but he got a few buckets off the pick and roll and seemed to work smoothly in it.
  • The Nets got their first win, a month earlier than they did last year.
  • The technical foul issue popped up again in several games. That rule hasn't faded since the start of the season.
  • Monta Ellis was ridiculous, and didn't miss a single shot inside ten feet last night.
  • DeMarcus Cousins was overshadowed by Griffin, but had himself 14 and 8, and oh, yeah, his team won.
  • Utah got blown off the map, not how the Jazz wanted to start what should be a promising season.
  • How about Roy Hibbert in a losing effort last night? 28 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks for the big man. The Pacers need that and against easier competition, Hibbert could be the difference in wins and losses.
  • Terrence Williams is looking more and more like a complete player for the Nets. He had a solid outing last night, including a nice lob to Favors.
  • Andrea Bargnani's offense roared back after a terrible preseason, and he had two solid defensive plays. The problem as always? All the other defensive plays.

Follow F&R on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA and check out our RSS feed . This has been your daily edition of the Game Changer.

Posted on: October 27, 2010 11:03 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:10 pm
 

Blake Griffin dunks with both hands on Blazers

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin makes his NBA debut in spectacular fashion, with back-to-back first-quarter dunks. Posted by Ben Golliver Looks like Washington Wizards point guard John Wall will have some competition in the Rookie of the Year human highlight department. Check out Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin's first-quarter reign of terror during his NBA debut against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.  In the game's first five minutes, Griffin threw down two monster dunks, one with each hand. First, a right-handed catch and finish on an alley-oop pass from Clipper guard Randy Foye.   Soon after, Griffin effortlessly completed an acrobatic left-handed put back, following a missed 3-pointer by Clipper wing Ryan Gomes Heads up, NBA bigs. Put a body on this Blake Griffin guy at all times. He's a threat to dunk, whenever and wherever.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 9:29 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:11 pm
 

At The Buzzer: Heat 97, Sixers 87

The Miami Heat notched their first win of the 2010-2011 NBA season, defeating the 76ers in Philadelphia. Posted by Ben Golliverlebron-james One night after getting taken apart by the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat restored order on Wednesday, knocking off the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center, 97-87. The Sixers mounted a mini-comeback in the game's closing minutes, so the final score was a little deceptive. The Heat led by 26 points at one point, and won with relative ease. Miami came out of the gate a bit out-of-sync offensively, no one more so than LeBron James, who finished with nine (!) turnovers. Miami's depth proved to be too much for a young, hard-working Philadelphia team. The Heat bench made a strong offensive push during the second quarter and locked things up by winning the third quarter 31-13, preventing the 76ers from generating many quality looks.  Philadelphia 76er rookie Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, came off the bench to play 31 minutes, and he acquitted himself nicely in his professional debut. Turner intercepted a James pass in his first game action and went toe-to-toe with the Heat superstars throughout the night, finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Turner's 16 points led all Sixers scorers. Dwyane Wade carried most of the offensive load for Miami, with 30 points, and bench shooter James Jones chipped in 20 points, including six 3-pointers. Jones's outside shooting was a major catalyst for Miami's run in the second quarter.  The statistic of the night goes to Heat forward Chris Bosh, who finished +25 on the evening despite doing almost nothing besides kicking out passes from the post. All jokes aside, Bosh finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, but he wasn't a game-changer. James finished with 16 points, six rebounds, seven assists, two steals and a block to go along with the nine turnovers. But a win is a win for these Heat, and the so-called "Big Three" were all smiles during the fourth quarter. Check out the full CBSSports.com recap.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 9:04 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:11 pm
 

Russell Westbrook coast-to-coast dunk

Video of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook throwing down a coast-to-coast dunk against the Chicago Bulls. Posted by Ben Golliver 2010-2011 is the season that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is expected to make "the leap" into superstardom. During Wednesday's season opener against the Chicago Bulls, Westbrook leaped alright, getting way up for a thunderous dunk after taking the ball nearly the length of the court after corralling a defensive rebound. Here's the video, courtesy of NBARauf on YouTube. Goodness gracious sakes alive!
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com