NBA Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell Westbrook’s Play Is Improving For Oklahoma City Thunder

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

It’s uncommon when it’s okay to say that a player struggled early on in the season when he averaged around 20 points through the first six games. Things are always different when you’re a star player in the NBA. Big things were expected of Russell Westbrook as soon as he stepped back on the court, regardless of coming off of two knee surgeries in under six months. Westbrook sputtered out of the gates early, but he’s getting closer and closer to playing at the high level we’re all accustomed to.

Earlier in year, Westbrook went 4-of-5 games shooting under 40 percent. He’s recently turned things around, averaging over 50 percent from the field in his last three games. His season totals are looking a lot better than they did to begin the year; Westbrook is now over 40 percent from the field and beyond the arch on the year. He’s also averaging over five rebounds and five assists per game.

Everyone around the Oklahoma City Thunder‘s organization is exhaling in relief as their star point-guard returns to form. Westbrook’s injury in the playoffs cast a shadow of doubt over his return, and his rocky start didn’t exactly help anything. Derrick Rose‘s situation is a bit more serious than Westbrook’s, but he should be in better physical shape at this point, especially after sitting out an entire year. Rose has struggled even more this season, and he’s also dealing with a hamstring injury.

I think it’s time to applaud Westbrook for his loyalty to this OKC team and his will to prove his doubters wrong. He’ll only become stronger and more valuable in the Thunder’s plan to return to the NBA Finals. Westbrook is, and will remain, a founding father in Loud City alongside Kevin Durant. The Thunder need him healthy and playing at full speed if they want to be a successful team in a league that’s getting more competitive as time goes on.

Brian Anderson is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrAnderson035 “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.