When the basketball world learned that James Harden and the Houston Rockets would face Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, it became inevitable that the MVP race would be distorted by the results of the series. If the Rockets lost, Harden would be considered a perennial choker who continually disappears in the playoffs. If the Thunder lost, Westbrook would be viewed as a selfish ball hog unable to lead a team without Durant, Ibaka, or Harden. Well I’m here to say that this playoff series should not define Westbrook or Harden’s seasons, and that Russell’s record-breaking performance should place him first in this year’s MVP voting.
With only minutes left in #1 Gonzaga’s round of 32 game against #8 Northwestern, Gonzaga Freshman Zach Collins stuffed a Northwestern shot with what was quite possibly the most obvious goaltending in basketball history. Not only did Collins have his hand completely through the cylinder, he also pushed the net above the rim to make it painfully obvious that he was committing a goaltending violation.