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Houston Rockets GM Takes Shot at Russell Westbrook

Apr 19, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) prior to the game against the Houston Rockets in game two of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 19, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) prior to the game against the Houston Rockets in game two of the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports
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Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey has been advocating James Harden for MVP since the preseason. On Wednesday, however, he took that to the next level of pettiness.

So it all started with this year’s edition of Nylon Calculus’s NBA Anti-Awards. It’s an annual satirical piece where they give out a bunch of awards celebrating mediocrity in the NBA. Awards include the Shawn Bradley Award (big man who got his shot blocked most often), the Kobe Bryant Award (player with the most missed shots in a single game), etc. One of the honors is named after a member of the 90s Houston Rockets, the Matt Bullard Award. The prize goes to the big man with the lowest rebound percentage, something Bullard was infamous for during his playing days.

Being the positive-minded guy that he is, Daryl Morey shared a link to the article on Twitter, saying that it wasn’t Bullard’s fault that Hakeem Olajuwon got all the rebounds during that era.

@bull50 not your fault that @DR34M was getting all the boards https://t.co/37MSy6oPkk

— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) April 19, 2017

Matt Bullard, who is now a commentator for ROOT Sports SW, took it all in good humor. He replied by noting that he was just following the Dream’s instructions. That’s when Morey took his opportunity to launch the next rocket in the MVP Debate Petty War 2017. He replied to Bullard, sneakily-not-so-sneakily taking a shot at Russell Westbrook‘s stat padding.

@bull50 sounds like some other superstars…

— Daryl Morey (@dmorey) April 19, 2017

While Westbrook’s triple-double average on the year is truly amazing, he didn’t get there organically. His teammates have shamelessly boxed out for him on a regular basis, allowing him to lead the league in uncontested rebounds. There has been plenty of research done on the subject, and it seems that Morey has paid attention.

More from Space City Scoop

Now, there is a strategy to the Thunder’s assistance in Russ’s rebounding. The idea is that they want him to go on one of those Ultra Deluxe Bulldozer Extreme fast breaks as often as possible. If he gets the ball in his hands earlier, the chances of him being able to do so are increased.

But still, many Houston Rockets fans don’t like the technique. After all, it’s a foregone conclusion that Westbrook wouldn’t have a chance at MVP without his 10-10-10 average.

Daryl Morey might not have any say in the MVP race, but he certainly won the affection of Rockets fans today for the zillionth time. The tweet has 180 retweets at the time of writing, much higher than his average. Thank you Daryl, for voicing Red Nation’s petty thoughts on this whole MVP debacle.

Next: NBA Playoffs: Complete First Round Predictions

James Harden and the Houston Rockets tip off against Westbrook and the Thunder later on tonight in game two of their first round matchup. Needless to say, they’ll want to limit his rebounding numbers.

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