Westbrook Should be MVP 20 Mar 17
by Tony Medley
Two years ago I wrote a column explaining why Russell Westbrook was no
MVP. I donít know if he read it, but last year he took my advice and
shot less. In 2014-15 he took 1,471 shots, leading the league, making
only 42.6% of his shots. In 2015-16, however, he took fewer shots 1,444
but made 45.4%, passed more, and became a much more valuable player.
This year without him OKC would be almost as bad as the Lakers (it would
be impossible to be as bad!). With him they are headed for the playoffs.
What heís done this year is almost superhuman. However, he has already
taken more shots than he did in 2014-15 (1,668!) but he really has no
choice since he is the entire offense. Predictably, his shooting
percentage plummeted to below 2014-15 levels, 42%. Even so, because of
Kevin Durantís despicable abandonment of Oklahoma City, heís carried a
huge load and should be MVP. As a tagline, Durant and the changes he
engendered have made Golden State a weaker team and two-time MVP Steph
Curry less effective. If the gods have their way and all is right with
the world, Durant and the Warriors wonít win the NBA Championship.
March Madness brings
out the worst officiating:
Predictably, even though there have been some close games, the most
outstanding thing one takes away from March Madness is the absolute
incompetence of the referees. They call fouls that donít happen and
ignore fouls that do. In Sundayís Duke-South Carolina upset, they called
48 fouls, more than one per minute, fouling out five, count them, 5,
players! In comparison, total fouls in other games were:
Does anybody believe
that Duke and South Carolina played a game that was full of so many more
illegal plays than the others?
Many of the bad
referee decisions were game changers, and the two most blatant were
infractions that were not called. In the Northwestern-Gonzaga
game an obvious goal-tending call, where the Gonzaga player actually put
his arm inside the hoop to keep a ball from passing through, a clear
violation, was missed. That would have made it a one point game with
4:54 minutes left. Instead, the referees completely missed it, allowed
the basket, and then called a technical foul on Northwestern head coach
Chris Collins who vociferously protested the missed call. Collins could
see the infraction from the bench but the three officials on the court
couldnít? So instead of being within one point, Northwestern was 5
points behind and their momentum stunted. The NCAA later issued a
statement that they had missed the call. Gee, thanks.
In the North
Carolina-Butler game there was an obvious offensive charging with 49
seconds left and Carolina leading 66-65. Carolinaís Joel Berry dribbling
the ball ran over Arkansasí Adrio Bailey like Jim Brown barreling over a
linebacker but there was no whistle. So Berry threw up a wild shot that
was tipped in and Carolina had a 3 point lead instead of Arkansas having
possession only one point behind.
officials destroy a good game. Whenever thereís a contested shot around
the basket, the whistle sounds and the refereesí arms go up like
Pavlovís barking dogs. It is absurd, but it is continuing. When I was at
UCLA referees Mel Ross and Joe Frivaldsky were just as inept as their
successors today. There needs to be action taken to get competent
officials. What we see during March Madness is disgraceful. Maybe they
should go back to two referees instead of three. That should decrease
the incompetence by 33%.
Itís no secret that the LA Timesí Front Page and all its news stories
consist mostly of editorial opinions parroting Democrat talking points.
But one would think that when it came to printing things that are simply
facts, like TV schedules, it would at least be able to get those
correct. But a vast number of people missed the UCLA-Arizona basketball
game a few weeks ago because the Timesí sports TV listing had it on
Pac-12 network when, in fact, it was on ESPN. Anybody who recorded
Pac-12 got old replays while missing the game. The Timesí news stories
are intentionally biased and misleading not only in what they write, but
in what they choose to cover, because of judgments by journalistically
corrupt managing editors, but getting TV listings wrong is just plain
Along those lines, in
the old days the Timesí sports section always had the weekend sports on
TV all listed on Friday so people could plan what to watch and what to
record. About a year ago (at least), the Times stopped this valuable
service. But since their listings are no more accurate than their news
stories, I guess it makes no difference.