Russell Westbrook once again had another incredible season for the Oklahoma City Thunder and achieve a triple-double season for the second year in a row, but it wasn't accomplished without its critics.
While Westbrook has produced another triple-double season, many have accused the Thunder star of seeking out the stats more than he should, and almost going into business for himself, with many, including his teammates, saying he steals rebounds and even leaves defenders to position himself for a rebound.
The current reigning MVP took this criticism to heart, as he said earlier this week to ESPN’s Royce Young: "A lot people make jokes about whatever, stat-padding or going to get rebounds.
"If people could get 20 rebounds every night, they would. If people could get 15 rebounds, they would. People that's talking or saying whatever they need to say, they should try doing it and see how hard it is.
"Since everybody wants to be talking, I'm tired of hearing the same old rebound this, stealing rebounds, all this s---. I take pride in what I do. I come out and play, and I get the ball faster than someone else gets to it. That's what it is. If you don't want it, I'm gonna get it. Simple as that."
However, the thought that Westbrook hunting down rebounds in order to achieve triple-double status may not be as detrimental towards the Thunder's success as some people may think.
That's because according to Darryl Blackport of PBP Stats, Oklahoma City has a 121.8 offensive rating after Westbrook defensive rebounds, meaning the team is very productive when their star man starts their attack following a defensive rebound.
So when the defensive rebound happens organically, and the ball falls into the hands of the Thunder's star point guard, the team benefits greatly on the attack as a result.
The question now will be is this fine form by Westbrook able to transition into a deep playoff run for the Thunder? With Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in the team this year, they're stronger than they have been in years, so they're in a prime position to go far into the postseason.
They begin their playoff run tomorrow with a Game 1 first round clash against the Utah Jazz.
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