Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated
The Portland Trail Blazers have taken a 2-0 lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs after going on a 12-2 run in the last 80 seconds of the 3rd quarter.
If anything, OKC was the one lower seed who was expected to upset, especially after the Blazers lost Jusuf Nurkić to injury. OKC was the Vegas favorite.
In the past, Paul George has been dubbed “Playoff P” for his disappearance in many playoff games, but he isn’t what is handicapping OKC.
George had a smooth 27 last night, even with an ailing shoulder.
Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook always claims that he isn’t bothered by anything. Yet, it seems that everything bothers Westbrook. The dislike between him and Damian Lillard clearly seems to be affecting Westbrook’s play.
Westbrook did take full responsibility for the Game 2 blunder last night and promised he would be better.
Westbrook needs to keep to that promise because not only will OKC’s future begin to look shaky, but so will Westbrook’s legacy.
Credit to Nick Wright for providing a lot of the following information on First Things First this morning:
Westbrook went 5-20 with 6 turnovers last night. Eesh.
This is the OKC’s outlook since KD left Westbrook:
Year 1: 47 regular season wins, 4-1 loss in the first round
Year 2: 48 regular season wins, 4-2 loss in the first round
This year they won 49 and are already down 2-0.
Triple-doubles are not what OKC needs here. They need Westbrook to shoot less and be a playmaker. The series is far from over. However, OKC needs to act now.
It has become a mind game for the Thunder’s two stars. Hopefully, George isn’t questioning his choice to stay with Westbrook and Westbrook isn’t too caught up in his own head.