The Oberlin Review

Westbrook on Fire

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

March 6, 2015

For the past month, Russell Westbrook has been by far the best player in the NBA. In the month of February, the 26-year-old star guard averaged 31.2 points, 10.3 assists and 9.1 rebounds per game, all while leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 9–3 record and single-handedly keeping them in the race for the eighth playoff seed in the Western Conference. Westbrook notched three consecutive triple-doubles to end the month and joined Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson as the only other player to average 30 points, 10 assists and 9 rebounds in a calendar month. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging a triple-double. Not too shabby. On the season, Westbrook leads the league in scoring average, is second in player efficienc...

Definitive Biases: Budding NBA Stars Enter Primetime

Dan Bisno and Henry Weissberg

February 20, 2015

Welcome back, sports fanatics. It’s been quite a week in the NBA universe. Last Friday Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old Little League pitching phenom, gave Kevin Hart the “spin cycle” in the All Star Celebrity Game. On Saturday, Zach LaVine soared head-to-rim to win the Slam Dunk Contest, and Steph Curry proved that he is the preeminent splash brother in the Three-Point Contest. On Sunday, Russell Westbrook showed he’s more than an eyeglasses model and took home his first All Star MVP award. Now that the confetti has fallen on the season’s halfway point, it’s time to leave the fanfare and return to critical, biased sports analysis. After all, we are merely two subjects painstakingly pretending that we do not make ...

Give Boogie a Chance

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

February 20, 2015

For the first five years of his volatile career, DeMarcus Cousins’s tremendous talent has been wasted. After falling all the way to the No. 5 pick in the 2010 draft due to concerns about his maturity, Boogie (as he’s affectionately known) has done nothing but dominate. He’s improved every year he’s been in the league, and at this point it’s fair to say he’s the best center in the NBA. He’s ninth in the league in player efficiency, sixth in points per game and third in rebounds per game, but there’s one key category in which he’s lacking: wins. The Kings sport the third-worst record in the Western Conference at 18–34 and, set to hire their third different coach of this season alone, have been nothing...

Let Them Bet

Tyler Sloan, Sports Editor

November 21, 2014

Adam Silver, the commissioner of a little-known organization called the National Basketball Association, made history last week by openly supporting the legalization of sports gambling. The new stance takes a sharp departure from the organization’s position in recent years and has opened up a new dialogue regarding the controversial subject. In Silver’s New York Times op-ed piece, which caught fire in the media and led to numerous subsequent articles with speculation about Silver’s opinion, he provides a detailed list of suggestions for regulating legalized sports betting. His proposal sounds curiously similar to the proposals made by many advocates of marijuana legalization. Silver’s guidelines for how Congress...

Keep Calm, It’s LeBron

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

November 14, 2014

The Cleveland Cavaliers team, expected by nearly every expert to be one of the best teams in the NBA, has gotten off to a slow start this season, dropping three of its first six games. It’s far from time to worry, though. The panic surrounding the team began following its opening game, when the Cavs fell to a weak Knicks team in what was supposed to be LeBron James’s glorious return to Cleveland. Instead, he turned the ball over eight times and scored just 17 points; the team lost by five. The team’s struggles have continued in subsequent games — the Cavaliers have fallen to both the Portland Trail Blazers and a Utah Jazz team that won just 25 games last season, the worst mark in the Western Conference. Le...

West Is Best

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

October 31, 2014

The 2014–2015 NBA season began this past Tuesday, kicking off what should be the most entertaining season in recent memory. With the Western Conference as loaded with good teams as ever and LeBron James making his triumphant return to Cleveland, this year’s edition of the Association features no shortage of headlines. While the Eastern Conference has nowhere near as much firepower as that of the West, it possesses an arguably more intriguing race for the No. 1 seed between the Cavaliers and the Bulls. I have little doubt that the Cavaliers will steamroll their way to the conference finals, but that’s where their season will get interesting. With Derrick Rose returning to the Bulls and looking as close to his old...

Durant Challenges the King

Nate Levinson, Sports Editor

April 4, 2014

For the majority of the last decade, LeBron James has unquestionably been the best player in the NBA (apologies to Kobe Bryant). His all-around play and ability to make his teammates better were unrivaled, but this season LeBron’s seat atop the basketball hierarchy has been called into question. Well on his way to what should be the first of many MVP awards, Kevin Durant has placed himself firmly in the conversation for best player on the planet. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 25-year-old superstar is averaging career highs of 32.2 points and 5.6 assists per game and has taken his game to a new level this season. He has now scored over 25 points in each of 39 consecutive games, the longest such streak since Michael...

Gay in the NBA

Phoebe Hammer, Sports Editor

May 3, 2013

NBA player Jason Collins has never been an All-Star, but on Monday he made professional sports history, becoming the first active male athlete in major American team sports to announce his homosexuality. It seems overdue.  Celebrities coming out are now so common they barely make headlines. But even though the United States has become significantly more supportive of gay rights in the last few years, homophobic attitudes have always surrounded major American team sports. This barrier has been much harder to break.  In the past, only retired players have publicly come out, but times are finally changing. “I think the country is ready for supporting an openly gay basketball player," Collins told ABC News.  He...

Postseason Predictions

Nate Levinson

April 12, 2013

With the NBA playoffs now less than three weeks away and with all but five playoff spots decided, teams can start resting star players and preparing for deep postseason runs. Following a dominant season that included a 27-game winning streak, the Miami Heat will once again be the favorite by most accounts, with the San Antonio Spurs or Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder having the best shot at ruining the Heat’s title dreams. Since the Western Conference has four teams that might legitimately contend for a title, pundits who deem the West’s top two teams the Heat’s only competition for another ring may prove to be sorely mistaken. The Los Angeles Clippers had the look of the best team in the West early this...

Talk of Another Jordan Comeback Tantalizes Fans

Hal Sundt, Staff Writer

February 18, 2011

We know about his NCAA title-winning shot against Georgetown, that magical NBA draft night and the Magic/Isiah freeze-out conspiracy at the 1985 All-Star game. We still watch footage of the 63 points at the Boston Garden and remember the pain of losing to the Bad Boys from Detroit again and again and again. While he was chasing an incredibly elusive championship, Gatorade, Nike and McDonalds recognized his individual achievements: scoring titles, MVP’s and even a Defensive Player of the Year award. We bought the shoes, ate the meat and drank the drink. We helped rip the torch from Magic’s hands in the ’91 Finals after the forever-famous "fake-dunk-layup." Our mouths watered during the evisceration of the...

Handicapping the Carmelo Anthony Situation

Chris Landers, Sports Editor

February 18, 2011

Each year, the National Basketball Association’s trade deadline wreaks havoc upon the league and its general managers. Contenders contemplate which moves will put their teams over the top, while bottom-dwellers look to rebuild. It’s a time of year when the only constant is chaos, and it is upon us once again. In the face of all of the mind-numbing information, the Review is here to sift through the mess and make sense of the possible scenarios. The marquee name in the rumor mill this season is Denver Nuggets all-star forward Carmelo Anthony. He will be a free agent after this season, and this summer announced he would not be willing to sign the three-year, $65 million contract extension that the Nuggets put on t...

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