NBA

Russell Westbrook .

OKC coach Billy Donovan dismisses claims that Russell Westbrook is easy to guard

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Russell Westbrook enjoyed one of the most historic individual seasons last year and was duly rewarded with his first MVP trophy.

The Oklahoma City Thunder superstar became the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire campaign joining Oscar Robertson.

The point guard also surpassed the Hall of Famer's record of triple-doubles in a single season.

Following the departure of Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors, Westbrook took it upon himself to carry the franchise and became a one-man wrecking crew.

The eight-time All-Star plays with a ferocious speed and tenacity and is practically unguardable.

In the Bay Area, however, they don't agree with this notion.

According to ESPN's Zach Lowe, the Warriors believe that his “style of play is so easy to defend; it’s like cake to them.”

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors

Speaking on his 'Lowe Post' podcast, he also claimed that the Dubs "don't fear" the All-NBA guard.

While Westbrook’s numbers were good against the Warriors — 27.3 points, 10 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game — he shot just 37.5 percent and averaged eight turnovers a game.

His preferred isolation play does tend to favour the defending champions but the numbers would suggest he still gets his way.

OKC head coach Billy Donovan dismissed the claim out of hand and had high praise for his leader.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

“I think Russell is a pretty challenging guy to guard, in my opinion. I don’t know who made the comments or where the comments came from,” Donovan told Fred Katz of CNHI Oklahoma.

“I’m not going to respond to that. Russell to me is one of the best players in the world. He’s done it at a very high level for a long period of time. I don’t know where it comes from, but I’m not really going to comment on any of that.”

Shooting his lowest percentage against Golden State shows that they do defend him better than other teams so there is definitely some substance to their claims.

Stopping the 28-year-old is impossible but the Oakland-based franchise can take credit in knowing that they know how to slow him down and get him off his game.

Golden State Warriors v Oklahoma City Thunder

But Russ was the only star on his team last year and the Warriors knew they could focus all of their attentions on him which made it difficult.

The two-time scoring champion may have more joy this year, however, as he'll be assisted by All-Star duo Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

He will now have more motivation to end their reign as the league's most dominant team and overcome his former teammate Durant.

Topics:
Northwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Russell Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Kevin Durant

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