Kevin Garnett was the first player to popularize the post whistle goaltend in an effort to prevent an opposing shooter from finding his shooting rhythm by shooting during a dead ball situation. Since then, it’s become commonplace around the Association, and Russell Westbrook swatted two in a row after the whistle when the Thunder visited Indiana on Sunday. Except, #WhyNot Russ took quite the spill on the second one.
Midway through the fourth as the Thunder and Pacers were heading to a timeout, Russ blocks Paul George‘s shot after the whistle. Then, after George Hill tries to get a shot up, Russ sprints back to reach through the nylon and pop it back from the rim and prevent Hill the satisfaction of watching it splash through the net. But after the goaltend, Russ falls hard on his butt, to the delight of the Pacers fans.
The Pacers won at home, 102-97, moving half a game ahead of the Heat for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. But at least Russ didn’t let Paul George or George Hill find their shooting stroke in the fourth quarter. For the game, PG was 6-for-17 as his shooting continues to nosedive following a hot stretch to start the season. George Hill was just 1-of-3 on the day, though we seriously doubt whether Russell’s hijinks more than midway through the fourth quarter had anything to do with it. Then again, we’ve heard Nuggets mascot, Rocky, still hasn’t recovered from Russell’s shot-blocking vigilance earlier this season.
What do you think?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerTyrel.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.