On Jan. 1, 2013, with just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of the Outback Bowl, then-South Carolina Gamecock Jadeveon Clowney burst up the middle, a blazing runaway train, met Michigan running back Vincent Smith just as Vincent hugged the handoff to his chest — or was it even before?! — and bulldozed Smith to the ground. Smith’s helmet took flight. The ball did too. The Hit was born.
But Green is also the type of player who could heat up and win the Rockets a postseason game when they need something extra. He nearly did it on Thursday — or, at least, helped keep them in it despite James Harden’s absence. (Yes, to be fair, the Warriors were also missing Kevin Durant.)
This is the perfect team that can accentuate Green’s strengths, and it’s the best situation that he could ask for. It’s easy to be happy for Green, who has truly found his perfect landing spot.
The Thunder finished December with the third-best record in the NBA at 12-5. In that time, Russell Westbrook found himself in a familiar position, first in the league in usage rate (37.8), coinciding with a decrease in the same category for Carmelo Anthony and Paul George from the first two months of the season. The biggest difference for Westbrook: His 3-point attempts per game are down (5.6 to 4.3) and drives per game are up (17.0 to 21.5). — Vincent Johnson
Now’s a good time for the Wizards to make a push as they have the NBA’s third-easiest schedule in January, according to ESPN BPI. The Wizards have won six of their last seven home games and enter a stretch in which six of their next seven games are at home, with the lone exception being a trip to Memphis. — Micah Adams
He saw some of the things that he missed by trying to bounce some things, Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. He’s had a lot of success bouncing some runs, but at some point you’ve got to hit some of these holes that are there, and they’re not big all the time. I think he saw that, and obviously he’s a quick, fast learner.