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If Russell Westbrook is able to grab 16 rebounds against the Grizzlies on Wednesday, he will become the first player in NBA history to average a triple-double in multiple seasons. That sounds like a stretch, but he did grab 18 boards on Monday night against the Heat, and he has averaged 14 per game in the four contests he's played in April.
As active as he's been on the glass, his OKC teammates have joked around about him "stealing" boards as he zones in on becoming the first player in league history to accomplish the aforementioned feat. That topic was brought up on Tuesday as Carmelo Anthony spoke to the media, with Anthony responding (jokingly) in the affirmative, while also stating the team ultimately doesn't care about it.
"Sometimes you want to fight him a little bit, push him out of the way," he told ESPN's Royce Young. "For me, it’s good to have a guard like that, being able to crack back and get rebounds. He steals rebounds sometimes, but any time you have a guard like that to come back and rebound the way he does...he’s able to jump start the break, and a lot of good things happen from there."
When pressed further, Anthony said that he "steals," but it's seen as a joke on the team rather than something more problematic.
"We got a defensive rebound," he added. "I don’t think nobody thinks twice about that. As long as we get the rebound, I don’t think we worried about that. Like individually, we’re not like ‘Damn, I gotta get this rebound. I gotta rebound more.’ As long as we get the rebound, we all cool with that.”
Of course this is not the first time that people have taken note of Westbrook's rebounding style (or just clearing out for other guys to acquire boards in general):
Watch extra closely Wednesday night.