Russell Westbrook Disappointed Again

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Russell Westbrook Disappointed Again

   By: Noah Akey

 

Russell Westbrook has proven time and time again that he is one of the NBA’s true superstars, but after another playoff flameout, it’s clear the eight-time All-Star’s unwillingness to adapt is hurting OKC and his legacy.

After Damian Lillard hit a school-yard shot game winner, the crowd had erupt, the bench rushed him and the stadium celebrated. On the polar opposite, there was a team that had another disappointing end to their season. Westbrook was slumped in despair. With his terrible marksmanship and a pitiful final stretch, Westbrook dragged the Thunder to another horrific first-round collapse.

Westbrook shot 29 percent on three-pointers this season, poor even by his standards, and he still attempted 411 of them, the 40th highest total in the league. Westbrook is among the league’s most lethal rim attackers, and yet he keeps launching deep twos in transition and pull-up 26-footers in clutch time. Westbrook is a detriment on his team’s offense. The Thunder ranked 17th in offensive efficiency this season, despite having two of the league’s top 15 players. Westbrook is a high intensity player and is ‘Go hard, play aggressive, play with a chip on my shoulder.’ Russell needs to step back and look at the game through a different lense. He needs to play more strategically and value each and every offensive possession he gets. He is continually seen popping shoots from places he shouldn’t even have the ball in his hands.

Survey scouts and analysts and former players advice for Westbrook is generally the same: either refine your jumper, or stop firing so many deep shots. Shoot less, pass more. Westbrook can collapse a defense anytime he wants to, which should provide plenty of open looks for teammates. Westbrook’s confidence and passion are admirable, but those qualities quickly bleed into overconfidence.

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