Playing at the NBA is not limited to the rudimentary moves that involve shooting, blocking, assisting, stealing, and rebounding. It’s much more than that. There is always pressure mounting from the fans and coaches, mind games at play, and whatnot. One must always remain fully committed to the game mode, and Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets sticks to this mantra.
The Los Angeles Lakers lost to Houston Rockets 97-112 in game 1 of the western conference semis. At the beginning of quarter 4, the Lakers were trailing by just five points, but they lost the last 10 minutes miserably. During those minutes, something rather amusing happened that caught the camera’s attention.
Rockets were in the game mode even during time-out!
With just nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Rockets had a comfortable 12-point lead against the Lakers. But Russell Westbrook was still with a mindset of not allowing the Lakers to even take a trial shot at the basket. Have a look at how he denied guard Danny Green a shot during the time-out.
Russell Westbrook: "No extra shots. He can shoot those shots tomorrow or before the game. At least me personally, my guys know that I don’t want to give no advantage, no nothing. Let them know that we’re here. Every time they shoot the ball, we’re going to be right there." https://t.co/Ec5TxTAPdG
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) September 5, 2020
Later, in the post-game conference, Russ explained his stunt to the media. He commented, “No extra shots. He can shoot those shots tomorrow or before the game. At least me personally, my guys know that I don’t want to give no advantage, no nothing. Let them know that we’re here. Every time they shoot the ball, we’re going to be right there.”[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGPZxHDdXao?start=110]
This more or less explained the competitive mentality that he carries while on the court. So for him, the game is not a 48-minute deal but something way bigger and far-reaching.
Russell Westbrook and Danny Green have been there, done that!
So this was not the first occasion when these two were involved in such a show. Back in 2012, Russell Westbrook was playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Danny Green was playing for the San Antonio Spurs when a similar spectacle happened. It was the conference finals when Danny was just going for a trial shot after the half-time but had the same result; he was denied. It left the Deadshot bewildered, but there was nothing he could do about it.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHLg4bQUsZU?start=5]
Russell Westbrook managed 24 points in this Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs 2020 as they won the game. But it is too soon to say whether the Lakers will remain on the back foot or come back strong on Sunday.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I intend to make popularise my quote when I say sports define me better than I define sports. See ya'all Champs!