Loved seeing Oklahoma City -- although nobody calls the team Oklahoma City or the Thunder -- destroy the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night. The Metta World Peace episode, the elbow and the lack of class and contrition, is enough to sour even a Lakers' fan on the Lakers.
The Magic Johnson Showtime Lakers are the best team I've ever seen, and my favorite of all time. But the class and style with which they played has not endured. The Lakers are the team of World Peace and Andrew Bynum. Kobe has evolved as he has aged -- he will now intentionally pass -- but they're a team built to win big games, not a series against a good team.
James Harden is one of my favorite players, and not because of the cheap-shot elbow he took from World Peace. Kevin Durant is a scorer and so is point guard Russell Westbrook. Harden is the conscience every successful team requires. He'll pass, rebound and score all within the context of what OKC does. When was the last time you saw him take a bad shot?
As talented and as entertaining as OKC is, I don't trust Westbrook. He's the most athletic point guard in the league but sometimes, instead of giving the ball up to a cutting, running teammate, he'll go one against the world. He can be a great scorer. If he also was a consistently good passer, his team would be as good as anybody.