Not another anti-Westbrook post
....but rather an anti Westbrook & Durant post. They need to split them up. I'm not a Thunder fan, nor a Westbrook hater, but I'm a basketball fan and I know the game. When you have the best scorer in the game, you must defer to him at times. Westbrook never does, and worst, he forces things too much. Again, nothing against Westbrook, he's a fine player, but chemistry is a huge part of the game. Not only the overall team chemistry, but the chemistry between your best players. I think OKC has two choices, trade Westbrook or trade Durant....and the latter isn't an option (see what I did there?).
When I see other posts stating they should move Westbrook, posters respond about how okc struggles when Westbrook was out. Well the argument isn't that Durant can do it alone, nor is it that with the two the Thunder aren't competitive, but they do not compliment each other. They win because they are both very talented, but they don't bring the best out of each other.
I want to point out this isn't a new thought in my head bc of their struggle against Memphis, we all know Memphis is a very good team, but if Okc loses to Memphis in the first round, Westbrook has to go. I wouldn't blame the coach, who normally is to blame for such an upset (Indy?).
When I'm thinking of pg options for Thunder, first come to mind was Rondo. I've seen posts for this before, but Durant needs a second scorer still. Rondo will only fit if Lamb was to start producing and was a consistent 2nd scorer. Reggie Jackson could be an option, he's a poor man's Westbrook and defers to Durant when needed. A great option for Okc, imo, is to make a splash and pursue Kyrie Irving. Kyrie would be the perfect compliment to Durant. Cleveland would get another dynamic pg and Westbrook gets the freedom he wants and gets to be a leader. I also think Westbrook and Waiters will mesh better than Irving and Waiters does bc of their personalities. They are both fiery and I think Dion would respect Westbrook more.
Zeller/ Jusuf Nurkic?
You have two of the best talents in the league. They also happen to be very young.
The Duncan Era is coming to a close in SA (Manu is not far behind).
Miami is one of the oldest teams in the league and D Wade can't manage to stay healthy. Bosh has regressed since his Toronto days. You can't beat Lebron/Wade/Bosh... but if it turns into Lebron and everybody else, then they are beatable.
Chicago has a Rose that's been injured, no more Deng. Uncertain future direction.
Don't panic, keep your core of KD, West and Ibaka. Their chance will come.
Don't panic? How many greats never won? You think Durant won't consider leaving for elsewhere in 2016 if things doesn't change? Time flies, Durant wants to win and will not hang around just because. He's your man, gotta keep him happy.
When you have a 7 footer that likes to shoot 30 footer on someone 6'4 instead of getting to a sweet spot a shooting over them that's the problem. But I hope they trade Westbrook or fire Brooks it makes no sense after all these years they still done have an offensive identity it's hurting both players when it matters and that in the playoffs
The way Westbrook plays is contagious. The whole team stopped trying to get open.
I don't think a coach change would change anything. Westbrook is going to be Westbrook, I doubt a coach can change the way he plays.
Durant is probably the best scorer in the NBA at this point, but he shouldn't exactly be given a pass for the way he's played in this series either. He has a 7 inch advantage on the guy guarding him, and he's still being outworked physically by a good margin.
Westbrook is absolutely forcing things at times (and he really should not be attempting 6 3 pointers per game...that's just WAY too much for an average at best 3 point shooter), but a lot of times you see him press the issue because Durant is doing a horrific job getting open off the ball.
This is the same issue that we've seen time and time again with this team when they reach the playoffs. For some reason, Durant goes into this mode where he forgets how to get open. Westbrook then tries to take games over even more than usual. And then you have Scott Brooks just sitting on the sideline twiddling his thumbs. The guy makes zero adjustments over the course of a game and runs offenses that pale in comparison even to guys like Mike Brown and Mike Woodson.
It is clear at this point that what Durant is doing off the ball isn't working. The guy simply can't get open, and he's settling for bad shots far too often. At the same time, what Westbrook is doing on the ball isn't working either. Why not let Durant bring the ball up himself so that Tony Allen doesn't have a chance to just take him out of the play? He brought the ball up the majority of the season when Westbrook was out and played lights out. This is such a simple adjustment to make and it could have a profound impact on their playoff run.
I think a coaching change would be a better move before opting for a trade. I'd like to see a coach who will stop playing all of his old vets off the bench and ignoring his young guys. Lamb and Adams can both play in this series, Lamb is at least a threat to score, a solid defender and is ideally suited to playing in the starting line-up alongside Durant and Westbrook.
Instead you've got old man Fisher and Caron Butler taking all the bench minutes. This team needs to stick to its youth movement and use its superior athleticism to outwork the Grizzlies, not tired vets who offer very little on the court.
Seriously, free Jeremy Lamb.
Just saw this stat on TNT. Westbrook is 0-14 from the field in the four OT games this series.
I dont agree with trading him. It seems like a better solution would be to iron out westbrooks bad habits, which shouldnt have gone on this long at this point in his career.
I don't get it. Because Waiters and Westbrook are fiery they fit better together?
KD deserves blame too. It seems as though he and Westbrook are in a 3pt shoot out against each other sometimes. For a guy that can get any shot he wants he seems fine settling for 3s and long 2s wayyy too much.
I absolutely agree with the premise of this forum. While Westbrook is a top 10 player easily, him and Durant just dont gel, and we have seen how much better KD is when he gets to be the undisputed alpha dog on the team. To me trading Westbrook is the logical choice, but only if the Thunder can get another star. They are in a win-now mode, and draft picks will not keep KD around for another contract unless they are fast developers.
There are a couple of players who the Thunder could trade for, but to me the logical target is Kevin Love. Minny should be looking to move him since he is unlikely to stay, and getting a stud with limitless potential like Westbrook who can become the face of the team and lead the offense would be about as good a return as they are likely to get for Love.
For the Thunder, they get to replace Perkins in the lineup with Love, which would be an upgrade both on offense and defense. Love is a big body who would be much less of a defensive liability beside a shot blocker like Ibaka, and his rebounding and physicality would make him a presence under the rim. On offense, his willingness to move the ball, solid post up game and legitimate three point shooting would give the Thunder a better flow on offense, and help stretch the floor and give KD more space to work. Plus, a shooting big man makes any offense better, as shown by Nowitzki and Frye in Phoenix. The two-man game between KD and Love on a high screen would be incredible.
As far as the trade goes, I think the Thunder would be able to get a draft pick sweetener since Westbrook is probably a slightly more valuable player overall than Love because of his two-way ability and the fact that Love is not signing another contract in Minnesota. Personally I think the Thunder would swap their two first round picks (21 and 28) for Minnesota's first rounder (13), but even a straight up trade would work for both teams.
Thunder Line-Up (which looks super nasty)
Love/Adams (Perk finally gets amnestied)
Jackson/??? (draft pick?)
I´m advocating for a Rubio/Pekovic/#13pick for Westbrook/Perkins, as it would make both teams better.
MIN gets a superstar scorer to put along Love (and they also played together at UCLA) and they let Dieng do his work as a starter
OKC gets a pass-first PG who would prompt Durant as a 40 ppg, a inside scorer who is the perfect fit along Ibaka and also Rubio knows Ibaka from Spain´s NT
Win-Win situation for both teams
That would put way more pressure on Serge to develop in my opinion. If he doesn't become an 18+ PPG kinda guy, I think OKC would struggle. They'd likely be rolling out a lineup with two non-scorers at the guard positions.
That's what makes moving Westbrook so difficult IMO. They desperately need the scoring that he provides, so trading for a guy like Rondo or Rubio would likely make them worse even though it would allow Durant to be the man.
Ibaka can keep his 15 ppg, because Pekovic would provide another 15-18 ppg. Also, Rubio brings 8-10 ppg and generate a lot of offense. And with the emergence of Jackson and Lamb, there´s plenty offense in the bench, just waiting to coming in
I agree witht he fact that the chemistry on this team just doesn't work and something needs to be done. As a Raptors fan I was sure after the Rudy Gay trade that we were in tank city however the overall team chemistry is what drove our success this year, not star players. I think with OKC you may have the same scenario where trading Westbrook may be addition by subtraction.