Russell Westbrook is one of the players for the Oklahoma City Thunder that either goes big or goes home. Despite having the league’s leading scorer on his team in Kevin Durant, Westbrook is leading the team in field goals attempted with 18.7 per game– almost a full attempt more than Durant. Westbrook’s critics say he needs to be better at distributing the ball to his teammates, even though he already leads his team in assists with 7.6 per game.
Does Westbrook take too many shots? Maybe, but if he did not bring so much aggression on a nightly basis then the Thunder would not find themselves atop the standings in the west. After all, if you take away shots from Westbrook, who else can the Thunder lean on for offensive production? He may not be the most efficient player in the NBA, but he will always remain aggressive in games no matter what the stat sheets show. His will to put up shot after shot for his team is what makes Westbrook, so Westbrook.
On dailythunder.com, Royce Young commented on the aggressive nature of Westbrook, and how Westbrook is aware of his lack of efficiency, yet still chooses to play his type of game.
It was funny after the Wizards game in which Westbrook scored 21 points on just eight shots. He was asked about his efficient numbers for the night and he basically blew it off saying the only reason that happened was because he got in foul trouble early which limited his playing time, and then he made some free throws. Westbrook was essentially acknowledging that he understands he’s not an efficient player by trade, which I found really interesting.
Westbrook isn’t in the dark about his game and what he does. He just genuinely sticks to his guns and plays his game, regardless of the rest of the world. That’s great, and sometimes not great.
Westbrook will continue to receive criticism due to the type of player he is. Whether he is scoring well or not, he is one of the best options for the Thunder when it comes to offensive production, and he knows his role during certain situations in a game. He has already shown maturity this season by repeatedly giving the ball to Durant in make-or-break situations late in games. Durant is undoubtedly the player who should have the ball in clutch situations, but Westbrook knows he needs his shots throughout the first three quarters.
Westbrook believes that he can score on every possession, which is a good thing. Even though he might have cold streaks that frustrate Thunder fans, he will always stay confident in the way he plays. This characterizing feature alone is what makes the Thunder championship contenders in the NBA.