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    Shake, Thunder and Roll: OK3 no doubt the scariest thing on Halloween Night

    Nov 2, 2017
    Russell Westbrook didn't pretend he was Superman on Halloween Night. He showed up simply as himself, an elite point guard, smallish in stature but gigantic in skill and talent. AP  

    MILWAUKEE - In observance of Halloween Night, when the playful among us wear disguises to honor the dear departed, fans showed up at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Tuesday dressed as ghosts and goblins, walking skeletons and various monsters.

    Several garbed themselves as super heroes. Others hid behind masks, some opted to look like celebrities and did so poorly, while a lame few settled with donning unsightly, unkempt wigs. 

    When the shindig was over, though, the most terrifying sight turned out to be the guys who crashed the party wearing Oklahoma City Thunder jerseys. They also proved to be the most entertaining.

    Russell Westbrook didn't pretend he was Superman. He showed up simply as himself, an elite point guard, smallish in stature - 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds - but gigantic in skill and talent. 

    The 28-year old stud had more moves than a chess player. Despite logging just under 27 minutes, the reigning NBA MVP clogged the box score with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. 

    Westbrook's mini rampage brought Milwaukee to its knees, 110-91.

    Unlike last season's ill-fated campaign, one that was haunted by Kevin Durant's departure, Oklahoma acquired weapons of mass destruction during the summer to make a serious run at the Larry O'Brien trophy.

    Lone wolf no more, Westbrook now has All-Star friends to frolic with in the NBA's 94-foot playground. And they are really, really good.

    Paul George, who left Indy to race with the Thunder, knocked down four of eight triples to finish with 20 points, Carmelo Anthony, who ditched the Big Apple to be a part of a Big Three, sizzled with 17 points and eight boards.

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    Although OKC's stars inflicted most of the damage, the other guys did more than their fair share as Jerami Grant dropped 17 points while the always rough and tough Steven Adams registered 14 points and 11 boards.

    While offense buttered their bread, the Thunder defense was deliciously forbidding, holding the Bucks to just 32 of 76 from the field (42.1 percent) while allowing only 9-of-30 from long distance (30 percent).

    Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee's rising star and this season's early MVP candidate, recorded 28 points, eight boards and three dimes, but his attempt to defend his team's home turf fell way short as no other Buck scored in double figures. 

    One Greek Freak versus OK3 wasn't just a case of bad math. It turned out to be a disastrous mismatch. And that's why the Bucks arena produced more sighs than highs on that cold Halloween night.

    From my vantage point at the Bradley Center's media section 226, I was madly impressed by the new-look Thunder. Their starting unit is lethal and their bench is solid with Raymond Felton as back-up point guard and Patrick Patterson as another reliable big. 

    Grant, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound power forward whose brother Jerian plays for the Chicago Bulls, is an above average shooter and able defender, while Spaniard Alex Abrines is deceptively good.

    However, I still don't think that Oklahoma's thundering roar can measure up against the nuclear firepower of those Golden State Warriors.

    But it's a long season. OK-3 still has a lot of time to develop chemistry and trades can be made to add pieces. Either way, the Thunder are looking at a long and winding road in their chase for a title.

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    CAVS WOES CONTINUE. After holding a "lengthy meeting" aimed at fixing "defense and chemistry issues," you'd think the reeling Cleveland Cavaliers would bounce back from a three-game slide.

    They did not.

    After that get-together following Tuesday's practice, Cleveland hosted Indiana on Wednesday night at the Q Arena and promptly laid an egg. Moral of the story? Team meetings are overrated.

    Apparently, these Cavs can't guard a statue, let alone the Pacers, who shot 54.4 percent from the field and swished 16 triples. 

    Ranked 13th in the East, the Cavaliers, I still believe, will somehow find a way to another NBA Finals appearance when everything is said and done.

    For now though, the team is a hot mess, filled with players who are unhappy with their diminished roles and shrinking minutes.  

    Money, it was once said, doesn't buy happiness. But if you have it, you can at least choose your misery.

    After acquiring D-Rose, D-Wade and Jae Crowder to join LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, the Cavs possess a stunning wealth of talent. But the misery lies in the fact that only five can start and not all can have equal playing times.

    It's tough to figure out. But instead of holding another one of those sappy heart-to-heart team meetings, the Cavaliers should just pick up the phone and call the Warriors for some advice on personal sacrifice, sharing and co-existing.  

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    Russell Westbrook didn't pretend he was Superman on Halloween Night. He showed up simply as himself, an elite point guard, smallish in stature but gigantic in skill and talent. AP  
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