Good morning and welcome back to the virtual Canis Hoopus gym in which I share stories, tweets, and videos from around the internet that have caught my eye and call it morning pickup like we're playing basketball, which would be wonderful right now, but actually we're only consuming stories from around the Association.
It's been a while since we last did this. Let's get started (the headers are clickable links).
Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer Royce Young wrote an excellent recap after the Thunder downed San Antonio in Game 5 last night to take the 3-2 series lead. Westbrook absolutely took over in the fourth quarter before sending the Spurs to 1-2 on their home floor in the series. Don't forget they went 40-1 at home in the regular season.
"Russ was a maniac tonight keeping us in it," Durant said.
Via Young's article: "He's so competitive, and there's a fine line, because when you're that competitive you've also got to be able to control and lead your team," Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. "You don't ever want to take away that competitiveness from him, but the one thing I admire so much about him is he just lays it on the line. He's flying around, throwing his body -- even the play Kawhi [Leonard] dunked, the effort to try and go make the play the length of the floor, the loose balls, the offensive rebounds.
"He plays with such force and such passion. I think he's doing a really good job of realizing when he gets so intense, so competitive, so emotional, he's doing a good job of kind of bringing himself back together and understanding there's four other guys out there depending on him."
After the Thunder/Spurs game, Dwight Howard made an appearance on Inside the NBA and actually came off quite genuine. Sure, this was probably a well orchestrated PR move by his people to help paint Howard more positively in the eyes of NBA fans and critics after the immensely disappointing season that went down in Houston, but I felt like this appearance worked. Howard seemed honest and even likable as Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith grilled him with questions about his future.
I guess it's easier for me to like D12 when he actually embraces Barkley's straightforward questions on national television. Chuck asked: "Why do you think people don't like you?" Chris Barnewall has the full scoop over at The Friendly Bounce (link above).
Everybody I respect either now feels Dwight's pain or is at least hailing that interview as a masterpiece. There's a difference, right?— Bethlehem Shoals (@freedarko) May 11, 2016
When facing a road elimination game, the Popovich-led Spurs are 2-10 pic.twitter.com/DZxBC8pBA1— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2016
Six weeks from NBA Draft, my Top 5 internationals: 1) Dragan Bender, 2) Furkan Korkmaz, 3) Anti Zizic, 4) Juan Hernangomez 5) Ivica Zubac.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) May 11, 2016
NBA's Top 10 Missed High Fives
C'Mon man. It's NOT THAT HARD to connect on a high five, is it?
That reminds me of the time Kevin Love and Wes Johnson reflected on their awkward handshake. We've come so far since those days! This old feature by Jonah Ballow still cracks me up.