NBA

Forget Durant, Russell Westbrook is the Thunder's key man

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For all of the Kevin Durant hype this season, it's Russell Westbrook who has the tools to take the Oklahoma City Thunder to the promised land.

Durant was given the honor of league MVP this season over LeBron James, but come the post-season - and last night's huge match-up against LA Clippers - it was Westbrook that stood up in the moment.

During the game Westbrook had a huge points tally of 38 to guide his team to victory, while Durant managed 27.

Although KD made ten rebounds and Westbrook made five, the point guard did come through with a team high of six assists.

Durant was definitely the strongest player for the Thunder during the regular season campaign.

The seven-year pro had his best season by far, averaging 32.0 points per game. There's no wonder he was named league MVP for the first time in his career ahead of the four-time NBA MVP LeBron James.

But come the post-season Durant is not quite the same player. He has averaged 30.8 points per game and he has gone missing during big parts of crucial games in the post-season so far.

It's one of the reasons that The Oklahoman attacked him personally following a playoff loss last week.

Although that headline was extremely harsh, until he guides his team to the title he will forever be called a nearly man.

However, it's not Durant's job to guide his team anymore. While Westbrook was out he played some of his best basketball, but now the point guard is back, Durant's play has dropped off slightly.

This has led to Westbrook becoming the main man for reasons much more than points.

During the regular season he averaged just 21.8 points per game because of injury complications, but the playoffs have seen a different animal appear.

He's averaged 27.3 points per game and 8.4 rebounds, which are insane stats for a point-guard.

Last season the Thunder struggled immensely when Westbrook was ruled out, and it seems that now his leadership and intense nature on court is becoming more and more valuable.

Intangibles are talked about a lot in sports and Westbrook has them in abundance. If the Thunder are to win the NBA title this season, expect Westbrook to be the most important reason for their success.

Topics:
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant
NBA Playoffs
NBA

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