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Russell Westbrook isn’t expecting much from Melbourne Utd

Oklahoma City superstar Russell Westbrook says he ‘ain’t expecting s—‘ ahead of his side’s preseason friendly against Melbourne United.

The Thunder point guard doesn’t expect his squad to be challenged by the NBL team and even joked that he rated New Zealand basketball ahead of Australia.

I’m with Steve [Adams]. I’m team New Zealand, just so you know, Westbrook said ahead of the clash.

Teammate Steven Adams, who plays as a centre for the Thunder, was a little more conservative. The 24-year-old expects a tough and physical encounter but is hoping he can make the most of the opportunity and beat up on some Australians.

Watching highlights from that game on YouTube is like entering a time warp. Not just because several of Rose’s and Wade’s then-teammates (Carlos Boozer, Keith Bogans and Kurt Thomas for Chicago; Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Carlos Arroyo and Eddie House for Miami) have long since retired. And not just because Rose and Wade had close-shave haircuts back then and now sport miniature dreads and a mini curly Afro, respectively.

The highlights bring you back to a time when either one of those guys could turn a long defensive rebound into an instant score on the other end, barely needing three dribbles to get there. It’s a reminder why both of their acquisitions by the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason were so noteworthy, seeing the relentless spirit and frenetic creativity in their games that made D-Rose and D-Wade household names.

The Bulls won that game 99-96, with the pair exchanging buckets back and forth in the final minutes — a twisting layup for Rose, a 3 by Wade, an and-1 jumper by Rose, two more 3-pointers by Wade.

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The NBA tweaked its rules in the offseason in order to combat teams from resting players en masse. Commissioner Adam Silver can fine teams $100,000 this season if he determines they’re resting healthy players for either a nationally televised game or a marquee matchup on the road.

Lue — who was one of the coaches who chose to rest his stars all at the same time on several occasions last season, prompting the league to take issue with the practice — said the new rules don’t apply to Sunday, considering it’s an exhibition.

Not for preseason, Lue said. I don’t think it’s a must that guys play. Throughout the course of the regular season, of course we’ve got to abide by the rules.

Cleveland started Kay Felder, Cedi Osman, Kyle Korver, Jeff Green and Ante Zizic against the Wizards.

Reformatting the playoffs is something we’ll continue to look at, Silver said before a preseason game between the Golden State Warriors and the Minnesota Timberwolves at Mercedes Benz Arena. I think though it would require revisiting the regular-season schedule as well. As I’ve said before, we don’t play a balanced schedule now, as I’m sure you know. And for those that don’t, that means that teams in the East play each other more than they play teams in the West. And our feeling is, if we were going to seed 1-16, we would need to play a balanced schedule to make it fair for everyone if we were going to seed 1-16 in the playoffs. It may be that as we continue to experiment with the number of days over which we can schedule 82 games that it will create more of an opportunity for a balanced schedule.

Silver also reiterated that the league is not tied to an 82-game schedule forever. The league is starting the season a week earlier this year to carve out more rest for players in the schedule.

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