With his team up by 12 points on the Toronto Raptors in the second quarter on Thursday night, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook decided to spice things up a little bit on a fast break opportunity.
After making a nice play to steal the ball, the MVP candidate turned up court with a full head of steam and pushed the ball.
As one of the deadliest players on the fast break in the entire NBA, the Raptors defense was left in a confusing spot.
Would they focus on Westbrook and perhaps make him take a lower-percentage mid-range shot, cutting off his path to the rim? Or would they focus on his teammates, who are constantly in Brodie’s peripherals?
Well, they didn’t get the opportunity to do either. Check out what Westbrook did before the defense could figure out what was happening.
The ball was thrown with so much force and so much precision that Cory Joseph had no idea that he was nutmegged until after Victor Oladipo laid the ball in.
It looked like Taj Gibson might have been the initial target, but Oladipo was perfectly in stride and Westbrook perfectly thread the needle.
They don’t usually clock NBA passes, but you have to wonder how many miles per hour he hit on that dart of a throw. Earlier in the game, he hit Oladipo with another lazer on a fast break.
That one was two-handed, but was still an absolute blur, as the opposing defense didn’t even have time to react to it.
In just 28 minutes played, Westbrook had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists on the night. It was his 34th triple-double of the season and he continues to move towards making history.
In today's NBA, the fact that Westbrook is able to perform on such a consistent basis across the board is not only a testament to his overall skill, but also to his athleticism and stamina over the course of the season.
Not many people would have predicted that Oscar Robertson's record could have ever been broken, considering the immense talent all over the league. The fact that Westbrook is a point guard makes his rebounding numbers that much more incredible.
Oladipo, the recipient of both of Westbrook’s top dimes in the game, finished with 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting, along with five boards and two assists. He will be a key member down the stretch for a team that’s desperately in need of consistency from someone not named Russ.