Russell Westbrook began his news conference Tuesday afternoon by doing what Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley makes it very hard to do during games — clearing space. “We going to keep everybody back,” Westbrook said, while dribbling a basketball into a crowd of reporters after the Thunder practiced at the University of Houston. “Y’all keep your distance.”
When the subject of Beverley, who has made a name for himself by hounding opposing point guards like Westbrook on defense, came up, Westbrook wasn’t giving back any of those inches. “I never worry about what other guys are doing; it doesn’t bother me. I’ve seen it all already,” Westbrook said, when asked whether he’d broken down film of how Beverley defended him in Game 1.
Source: Ramona Shelburne of ESPN
Jimmy Butler (Knee) Sits Out T-Wolves Win Over Raptors
Jimmy Butler sat out Minnesota’s 115-109 victory Saturday night against Toronto with a sore right knee.
Butler is averaging 21.7 points per game for the revamped Timberwolves, who entered with the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Minnesota had lost two straight before hosting the Raptors. Nemanja Bjelica started in Butler’s place.
Celtics’ Kyrie Irving Set to Return From Shoulder Injury
Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving went through the team’s entire off-day practice Saturday and expects to return to game action Sunday against the Orlando Magic after missing one game due to a sore shoulder.
Irving sat out Thursday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers after undergoing tests on a shoulder that had been bothering him recently. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but Irving will continue getting treatment even as he returns to game action.
Source: Chris Forsberg of ESPN
LeBron After Loss to OKC: We Can Get Bounced Early in Playoffs
Following one of the most inept defensive performances in Cavaliers history, LeBron James said his team looked primed for a short postseason appearance, barring any changes.
The Cavs fell 148-124 to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, tying a franchise record for most points allowed in regulation. They are 3-9 since Christmas Day. “Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”
Source: Dave McMenamin of ESPN