Russell Westbrook is Putting up Gigantic Numbers, But Reality is Setting in For the 6-5 Thunder

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Russell Westbrook is Putting up Gigantic Numbers, But Reality is Setting in For the 6-5 Thunder

NBA

Russell Westbrook is Putting up Gigantic Numbers, But Reality is Setting in For the 6-5 Thunder

Oklahoma City started 6-1, and everyone said, ‘see! Russell Westbrook can carry a team!’ Westbrook, as everyone predicted, has become a triple-double machine. We’re 1/8th of the way through the season, and Westbrook is putting up historical stats:

32 ppg
9.9 apg
9.7 rpg

He’s close to averaging a triple-double, and we know he wants to be Kobe, flying solo post-Shaq. But upon closer inspection, he’s taking the most shots per game of his career (23.5) and only shooting 44%. He’s having his best year shooting three-pointers (33%), but it’s still early, and he’s taking more of them per game than ever before.

Oh, and his turnovers are way up, too (5.3, 3rd in the NBA, behind James Harden and John Wall).

But pay the turnovers no mind! He’s a human highlight reel!

Ahhhh, but upon closer inspection, the offense isn’t exactly humming without Kevin Durant. They’re 24th in offensive efficiency, right down there with some of the worst teams in the NBA – Denver (3-7), New Orleans (2-9), and Dallas (2-7).

Passing? Oklahoma City is 23rd in assists per game, down from last year, when the Thunder were 10th.

It’s still very early, and adjusting to losing one of the best scorers in NBA history might take half a season, perhaps more. But everyone freaked out when I said the Thunder weren’t a Top 4 team in the West this season, but I’ve seen nothing offensively so far to change my mind.

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