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It'd Be Nice if Russell Westbrook Shut the Haters Up Tonight in Oklahoma City

Russell Westbrook’s had a postseason of impressive highs – triple double in the game 7 clincher against Memphis – and extreme lows – 39 percent shooting, 4.6 turnovers per game, benched for the fourth quarter of a game two win over Dallas. Westbrook has been ripped mercilessly as a selfish point guard, and pundits claim there’s no way he’ll be able to co-exist in the future with fellow 22-year-old Kevin Durant. There’s been very little mention of how the team lost its 3rd offensive option (Jeff Green) in February.

Green was dealt in late February. Guess which month this season was Westbrook’s worst for turnovers? March (4.4). Westbrook’s mindset clearly was too become more offensive, and frankly, he needed to. The Thunder have a starting lineup comprised of two scorers, a shot-blocker who can occasionally make a jumper, a defensive-two guard, and a center with zero offensive game. Of course Westbrook’s going to be more aggressive and attack the basket and try to make things happen. The Thunder simply haven’t had enough time to find the offensive cohesion. And when a play breaks down, Westbrook’s going to be able to create his own shot. With Durant struggling Saturday night (7-for-22), Westbrook took over – he brought the ball upcourt on 22 possessions and didn’t pass it once (that happened 10 times in the fourth quarter – when the Thunder rallied).

Westbrook’s had a tough series against the Mavs: 3-for-15 in game one, the benching in game two, and then 2nd half brilliance in game three to bring Oklahoma City back from 25 down to make things interesting in the 4th. I’m thinking he plays his 2nd best game of the postseason tonight, and the Thunder even the series. Put Westbrook down for 28 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds.

 

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