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    'Spectacular' Russell Westbrook deserves MVP award, says Manila visitor Brook Lopez

    Jun 1, 2017
    Russell Westbrook has earned Brook Lopez's nod in a tight MVP race. AP

    BROOK Lopez groped for words when asked about his take on the NBA finals threematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors.

    But when the subject shifted to who he thinks deserved this season’s MVP award, the Brooklyn Nets center’s reply was as fast as a speeding bullet.

    In Lopez’s mind, Russell Westbrook should win the league’s highest individual award.

    “I would say Russ probably,” he said in reply to SPIN.ph’s question on who is his MVP for the season.

    “Russ was so aggressive and averaged in triple double throughout the season, and break a couple of triple-double records,” said Lopez of the Oklahoma Thunder superstar who surpassed the great Oscar Robertson for the most number of triple-doubles registered in a season with 42.

    Robertson had 41 during the 1961-62 season while playing for the Cincinnati Royals.

    “Growing up I never thought that was a record that wast going to be broken,” said the 29-year-old Lopez, who came to the country for the official partnership forged between NBA in the Philippines and AXA. “To see him do it and be there to witness it, it was spectacular, it was amazing.”

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    Westbrook, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, and Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs are the remaining contenders for the season’s MVP award.

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    Harden and the Rockets incidentally, eliminated Westbrook and the Thunder in the opening round of the playoffs. But they were in turn ousted by Leonard and the Spurs come the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.

    As for the Warriors-Cavaliers’s third finals encounter, Lopez expects a well-fought series.

    “It’s tough. I think it’s’ going to be a fantastic finals, one for the ages,” he said. “I think it’s tough to really go either way. You see spectacular performances from both teams throughout the playoffs.

    “I think whoever has the hot hands each game obviously. It could go either way.”

    Despite the utter dominance showed by both the Cavaliers and Warriors in the playoffs, Lopez still has a number of standouts that made the post-regular season memorable.

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    “On top of my head, the Celtics-Wizards series was absolute spectacular. It was exciting to watch that and see it go to a Game 7. The Cavs and the Warriors have been super impressive, especially the Warriors going to the West without losing,” he said.

    “It was disappointing to see Kawhii go down the way he did. I never wanted to see that, so obviously, I wish him all the best.”

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    Russell Westbrook has earned Brook Lopez's nod in a tight MVP race. AP
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