The Hall of Fame big men on TNT’s “Inside The NBA” set, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley , have repeatedly begged Karl-Anthony Towns to take advantage of the smaller players switched onto him by the Rockets during this season.
For a Rockets team that switches every screen and values both Tucker’s defensive toughness and shooting ability, losing him would be a real blow — particularly with Luc Mbah a Moute already out with a shoulder injury.
“I’d say [the past] couple months we haven’t played really well,” D’Antoni said before Sunday’s practice, a day after a 121-105 loss that trimmed the Rockets’ series lead to 2-1.
Minnesota’s starting point guard exited the game and was escorted back to the locker room by the team’s medical personnel, after appearing to injure his finger going after a loose ball defensively.
After winning 47 games a year ago with Russell Westbrook putting up a historic, MVP-winning season, the additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the offseason were supposed to make the Thunder back into a championship contender faster than anticipated following Kevin Durant bolting for the Bay Area in free agency in 2016.
Westbrook’s defiant answer about Rubio’s shooting after Game 3 became the thing everyone will be talking about up until tipoff Monday night in Salt Lake City.
And while, yes, Westbrook simply can’t be outplayed by Rubio like he was in Game 3, it’s going to require changing a lot more than that for Oklahoma City to get the win it needs to even up this series Monday night.
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