2012-2013 Thunder Player Expectations: Russell Westbrook

After leading his team to a Western Conference championship, and playing a role on team USA’s road to gold, Russell Westbrook is bound to have a huge year. Two years ago, Westbrook was criticized the most behind LeBron James, for his selfishness and inability to play alongside Kevin Durant. Last year, Westbrook really made himself known as a top PG in the league, and was even an MVP candidate. This year, his expectation is simple and clear: Lead your team to their first NBA Championship.

Westbrook is one of those players, where you either love him or hate him. As a Oklahoma City Thunder fan, you will love Westbrook for an insane dunk one moment, then two minutes later you’ll be screaming at the TV because he made a turnover or took a bad shot.  The most common critic of Westbrook is that he shoots too much, and is a little selfish. But, when you think about it, that is the Thunder style of play. Oklahoma City needs Westbrook and Durant to score.  Even Coach Scott Brooks said it, “We need Russell to score. I know some (people) don’t like that.”

In terms of this upcoming season, the only word I can come up with is: Ring. Westbrook needs to do whatever he needs to do to get his team a ring. If it means letting James Harden play the point, and Westbrook the two, then that will be the case. Westbrook knows what he has to do to win, now it’s time to do it.

2008-2009 Stats: 15.3 points per game, 5.3 assists per game

2009-2010 Stats: 16.1 points per game, 8 assists per game

2010-2011 Stats: 21.9 points per game, 8.2 assists per game

2011-2012 Stats: 23.6 points per game, 5.5 assists per game

Projected 2012-2013 Stats: 24 points per game, 7 assists per
game

Watching Westbrook grow over the past few years has overwhelmed. The only way to completely silence the critics will be to get that ring.

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  • KD3500

    I think Scott Brooks is finally starting to realize Westbrook’s style of play needs more finesse, and will be emphasizing better passing and ball handling drills. As a result, we can expect much fewer turnovers from RW (I’m guessing 3.0 TOpg). Also, he will benefit from the return of Eric Maynor, as he will get a chance to play the 2 guard at least a few minutes per game. Any talk of James Harden running the point is pure nonsense.
    With better coaching, and powerful experiences this summer, Westbrook will improve his assist totals as well as FG%. It has gone up every year so far, so I expect it to reach 47% this year. 7 APG sounds fair as well. He may not score as many points as last year, due to the emergence of Ibaka’s post-game, but he will be far more efficient.