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Best Of The Week: The Ben Maller Show

Sports Networks Exploited the Isaiah Thomas Family Tragedy

“The soap opera angle is what the savages live for and TNT could not wait to show images of a teary-eyed Isaiah.”

Ben Maller thinks the media coverage around the tragic death of Isaiah Thomas’ 22-year-old little sister, Chyna, killed in a car accident near their home in Washington stats hours before Boston's opening round game vs. Chicago, saturated the pregame's storyline to incredibly uncomfortable levels.

Maller believes the television networks tried to entrap viewers in a provocative tale of tragedy instead of broadcasting a basketball game, as they couldn’t resist making Thomas’ their lead character to pump ratings.

“Did television exploit a family tragedy?,” Maller asked. “This is the seedy underbelly of sports television.”

Russell Westbrook is Like a Freight Train About to Derail

“If you’re uneducated and look at those numbers you'll say, ‘well, that was great’, but when you actually peel back the box score you want to cry.”

Missing his patented triple-double by just 3 assists would normally lead you to believe that Russell Westbrook had another type of MVP performance that should make him the favorite to win the award, but it was actually quite the opposite for the groundbreaking point guard in Oklahoma City's humiliating blowout playoff loss to Houston.

After shooting 6 of 23 with 9 turnovers and a -25 plus/minus, Ben Maller thinks Westbrook is back to his usual ways as a freight train ready to jump off the rails.

“Russell Westbrook played undisciplined basketball," Maller said. “He took bad shots, he forced passes – he plays like he’s out of control a good percentage of the time.”

Maller then compared him to future Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, who is sometimes synonymous with gaudy personal numbers at the expense of his teammates.

“Russell Westbrook had a vintage Allen Iverson-like performance, He shot 26% from the floor,” he said. “He took 23 shots and made 6 of them. That’s an emasculating shooting percentage.”

Who is the Real Rajon Rondo? ...It's Complicated

"National TV" Rondo was dominant against the Celtics in Game 2 of their playoff series. Consistency has been a real issue for Rondo over the past couple of years and many think that Rondo only decides to play up to his potential in big games. It begs the question - who is the real Rajon Rondo?