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The Bernstein Brief: What Did Russell Westbrook Mean?

By Dan Bernstein-- senior columnist

(CBS) Mark the date for revenge: Saturday, Feb. 11 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.

That's when Zaza Pachulia and the Golden State Warriors next face Russell Westbrook's Thunder, and the guard promised retaliation of some kind after Pachulia leveled him Wednesday night with a hard body-block foul, eventually ruled a flagrant 1 by officials.

"He hit me kinda hard, but that's all right," Westbrook said after the 121-100 loss at Oracle Arena. "I'm gonna get his ass back. Straight up."

How exactly he intends to do that is unclear, but he will likely have Steven Adams back in the lineup for the upcoming rematch if he wants to outsource the job to a teammate, with the rugged New Zealander a more likely physical foil of the similarly inclined Georgian.

Or Westbrook can go old-school and avail himself of Michael Jordan's preferred tactic against over-aggressive play by opposing big men, particularly when setting wide or moving screens. In that case, Pachulia should be ready to protect a different body part.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score's "Bernstein and Goff Show" in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter  @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.


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