THE WRESTLING REPORT

WWE is making changes on the eve of the big move

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

NXT kicked off singing its own praises, letting everyone know how good they did last week. They opened with a good match featuring a large guy by the named of Keith Lee, who has some moves for a big dude. NXT has stayed consistent with WWE's devotion to promoting the women athletes with the second match being a great women's match where Dakota Kai coming back from an injury. Finishing up with a great street fight where Matt Riddle came out on top, the thing you notice about NXT that you don't see in the rest of WWE is they're delivering matches and not promos. This is the way to sell a new brand.

WWE launched into their new season with Brock Lesnar going to the old bag of tricks of throwing around people smaller than him. It's one of my least favorite bits, attacking the son of Rey Mysterio, adding an extra dramatic element to things. I know they needed to build up Sasha Banks but having her beat Alexa Bliss one on one without interference is annoying. Heavy Machinery losing to Roode and Zigler is a surprise considering how they've been building them up but maybe this is the start of a new rivalry. Watching Ric Flair and Hulk troll the fans before announcing their 5 on 5 match at Crown Jewel, was painful, these guys are done although they did finally give Randy Orton something to do. Also, quick question, is Seth Rollins the only guy who works here?

With Smackdown moving to Fridays on Fox Sports there isn't as much on this week to talk about yet although Raw's new looks were pretty sweet. It's always interesting to see what changes get made season to season and it'll be more interesting to see the tone that Smackdown goes for this Friday on its new home FS1.

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Thursday night, the Rockets were able to take a bigger step in the seeding because of a 113-97 win against the Los Angeles Lakers. They were able to do so without their starting point guard, Russell Westbrook. James Harden had big night by providing 39 points, 12 assists, and shot 50% from three. Harden was even a plus 16 from the field of play.

Ever since the Harden entered the bubble, he has played exceptionally well on defense and offense. Harden has seen a numerous number of double teams since playing the Dallas Mavericks. But Harden said they prepare for it well in practice. This allows shooters like Ben McLemore, Jeff Green, PJ Tucker, and Austin Rivers to get open. Harden has been able to direct his teammates to the middle of the paint or kick it out to the corner.

"Really good. That's nothing new to us. We [have] seen that already. That's something actually we practice. We watch film on teams that trap. Guys are in their right spots, get some open shots, and [a] couple of layups," as Harden told the media Thursday night.

Harden in the last four games is averaging 33.8 points per game, shooting 35.8% from three, nine assists, and 5.3 steals a game.

Harden has played stellar defense in these four games as well. Before the playoffs start, Harden wants the Rockets' defense to be better. Even though the Rockets are 5th in steals, there still can be improvement. The Rockets defense has looked good in the bubble as well. They are ranked 7th in general team defense.

On a good note, coach Mike D'Antoni has admired Harden's defense while in the bubble.

"His commitment on defense is the number one thing. Really talking and trying to get guys to buy-in. You got to do it by example. He came up with steals and he is locked in. Whatever it takes to win," as D'Antoni said.

Harden did like the way they played defense Thursday night by holding the Lakers under 100 points. Especially, when Anthony Davis is on limited minutes and LeBron James did not play.

"What I'm really proud of is on the defensive end. They did not score 100 points. Even with LeBron [James] not playing and AD playing limited minutes, our goal is to defend on a high-level tonight and I think we did that tonight," as Harden said. "That's going to win us a championship, on the defensive end."

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