For the third straight season, the Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the NBA‘s few teams with a legitimate shot at winning the NBA title. If they are to return to the Finals, point guard Russell Westbrook will need more games where he plays under control and plays like a true leader.
Westbrook is one of the most unique players in the league as his combination of athleticism, determination and durability is unmatched by any other point guard. Westbrook has the ability to leave him imprint on a game on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. The only issue is that sometimes he tends to let his questionable shot selection take over more than is necessary.
This isn’t to say that Westbrook has been a problem, because he has been far from it. The Thunder wouldn’t be where they are without his 23.2 points and 7.6 assists per game. But looking at his production when the Thunder win as opposed to win they lose, and it’s clear to see that there is a direct correlation between the results when he shoots well and games when he is having an off night.
In the Thunder’s 54 wins, Westbrook has shot .461 from the field while averaging over 23 points and seven assists. While Westbrook’s per game production are the same in the Thunder’s 20 losses, his shooting percentage is considerably lower at .379. This is a bit alarming considering Westbrook has one of the best and most efficient scorers in the NBA on his team in Kevin Durant.
The Thunder are in position to represent the Western Conference in the Finals for the second straight year, but only if Westbrook can show more discipline with his shot selection. If not, his relentless approach of taking wild shots just may shoot them out of the playoffs.