Russell Westbrook has become the biggest NBA lightning rod for pundits, critics and fans to discuss. There is always something to be debated when it comes to the point guard: from his attire, to his shot selection, to the reckless abandon that he plays with every single night.
Last night was the last that fans will see of Westbrook on a basketball court in the 2016-17 season as his Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated in five games by the Houston Rockets. That doesn’t mean that Westbrook didn’t put up a fight though.
Oklahoma ended up losing 105-99, but the pinball-action guard was his usual kinetic self as he threw up 47 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists in a near triple-double. The problems down the stretch were the same as they have been all series, the supporting cast.
On one play though, his role players might have benefitted from a little more restraint out of their superstar. Jerami Grant was scrambling to frantically put a collected miss in the basket and on the way up for his dunk, Westbrook mistakes it for a miss and accidentally blocks it.
It is crucial to note that this play featured the Thunder missing about four or five shots in succession, including Grant’s attempt. Like so many other times during this series, Russ tried to go up and just do it himself.
There is no doubt that the man plays like an absolute madman whenever he steps on the floor, but this was a bit of a brain fart. The way his teammates were performing lets you know just how necessary this type of effort was.
To put it in perspective, when Westbrook was off the floor for six minutes and in those moments, the team was outscored by the Rockets by 18 points. This happened all series long and while critics will be quick to point the finger at the superstar, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
One thing is clear, general manager Sam Presti has some serious work to do in the offseason because this team as currently constructed cannot run with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs or the Houston Rockets in the West.
Part of that is due to the fact that this team was assembled around the pairing of Kevin Durant and Russ together. With Durant now in Golden State, things get a bit more hairy in regards to assembling a competitive squad.
Thunder fans can take pride in a comforting thought: no matter what happens this off-season, they have a walking triple-double that will give them a chance to win every night. Just don’t get in his way, you might get blocked for your trouble.News Now - Sport News