Since last June, when Steph Curry and the Warriors proved once and for all that small-ball could win an NBA championship, there has been a lot of speculation about how the rest of the league would respond, and Golden State’s historic start this year has only added fuel to the fire. Golden State has perfected small-ball by surrounding the historically great shooting of duo Curry and Klay Thompson with unselfish, athletic players like Draymond Green, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala.

Whether LeBron James likes it or not, he has a lot of influence on the management of the Cleveland Cavaliers, both in terms of player personnel decisions, and in terms of in-game strategy. General manager David Griffin and coach David Blatt know that if LeBron makes it clear that he doesn’t approve of their performance, they’ll be out the door.

Major League Baseball’s one-game, wild-card playoff — an arbitrary gimmick devised in 2012 — is coming under increased scrutiny this year. The format pits the top two non-division winners in each league against each other in a one-game playoff, the winner of which advances to the real playoffs.

On April 13, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester tried unsuccessfully to pick a Cincinnati runner off first base. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But Lester had not attempted a pickoff in almost two years, a span that included 66 starts for the lefty. His last pickoff attempt, on April 30, 2013, came directly before he gave up a home run.

Russell Westbrook led his Oklahoma City Thunder to a 108-104 victory over Toronto on Sunday, putting up 30 points, 17 assists and 10 rebounds in the process. Amazingly, this type of performance has become just another day for Westbrook, who — in the absence of Kevin Durant — is averaging a triple-double since the all-star break: 34.3 points, 11.4 assists and 10.2 rebounds. His scoring is fueled by a historic usage rate of 38.5 percent, which is just a notch below Kobe Bryant’s record rate of 38.7 percent, achieved in 2005-2006.

College football made its long-awaited switch from a single championship game to a four-team playoff this year, to pretty much universal acclaim. Even the playoff’s detractors had to admit that it delivered some good football and some great storylines, and the fact that No. 4 seed Ohio State won also vindicated the format. Of course, the format was modeled on March Madness, the giant college basketball tournament. March Madness is, to me and many others, the most fun time of the year in sports.

The Clippers will have the best record in the NBA.

Admittedly, this one is a little less bold after the news that Kevin Durant will miss the first six weeks of the season for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Los Angeles finished 57-25 last year, behind only the Thunder and the Spurs. Durant’s injury should knock the Thunder down a peg.