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OKC and Westbrook

SlickBouncePass
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OKC and Westbrook

Westbrook can be a 2-guard or a 1-guard. I'm not comparing him to any other PG and I think he's the third best player in the league, ahead of guys like Harden, Durant, and Anthony Davis but still a step behind Curry and Lebron (who have much higher IQs and get their teammates involved better).

My knock with OKC has been the same for years. They dont' play team ball, they just watch Westbrook and Durant go. Unfortunately, Westbrook dominates the ball. He is a spectacular player, they just need a game plan for their offense, and he needs to get Durant way more touches. He can say all he wants about how "great" he thinks Durant is, whats the point if you never pass him the ball in key situations.

And Ibaka playing that stretch 4 bothers me. Thats just not how I grew up watching 4s like C-Webb and Rasheed Wallace and Tim Duncan play. He's not physical enough. Kanter sucks. Their role players are just kids, the team is so young.

I LOVED Durant in college and I really respect Westbrook as a force, I just wish this team played smarter basketball and didn't just rely on their "will to win" to win games. Its admirable, but its a disrespect to the game of basketball, which is not a track meet. Thats why I always prefer the Spurs and teams like OKC win the championship over a run and gun team.

Maybe its because I'm aging and the league is almost awash of guys that played when I was growing up, but I can't believe a team I can't stand like the Flopping Clippers I'd rather have win if they play the right way, over a run and gun team like OKC, unless Billy Donovan somehow gets Westbrook to stop taking stupid shots and give the ball more to Durant.

There have been times I watched OKC and the playoffs and I'd get so upset because multiple possessions downcourt Durant woudln't touch the ball nor would he demand it. Thats when I stopped liking the team.


SkalAndJamal
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So many things wrong with

So many things wrong with your post.

1. Westbrook game developed to purely a PG. Like what most people know this guy just wants to get the ball in the backcourt and just go, or get in a ball screen in then make a play. He is not meant to be playing off the ball and try to catch and shoot/two three dribbles and then make a move.

2. It was a two-man show because the supporting cast was TERRIBLE offensively. I remember Spurs-Thunder series... Perkins and the bench shot like 25% from the field... and Ibaka came back way too early from their injury.

3. This new team is a completely different story. Kanter, Waiters are guys that in their respective positions... if you want to compare them to other team's 2nd units centers and Shooting guards, those teams are not going to be putting the ball in the hoop like Waiters and Kanter. Morrow is a sharp shooter, Augustin is one of the best backup PGs in the league. This team really doesnt have much holes.

4. If Durant wants the ball, tell him to get open, but right now Westbrook gets to the rim and either he finishes over the defense or he gets the D to over-absorb helpside defense and he makes the right kick out.

5. Ibaka does everything you need defensively from him, and he understands his role on offense. He is doing everything he is suppose to do.

6. Disrespect?! Jordan used his will, Shaq used his will, LeBron used his will, and Wilt used his will... If you dont like guys who use their "will" then you probably have never liked bball.

7. Thunder are 3-0 so what Westbrook is doing is right.

SlickBouncePass
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???

Please never use MJ and Westbrook in the same sentence. Maybe early Jordan I wasn't old enough to remember those games, but championship MJ drove his teammates to be better than they were. If you don't understand that simple concept in basketball, that great players make others around them better, then you keep enjoying.

I hated the first championship Heat Team just as I hated OKC (that was not a memorable finals to me), because that team was Lebron and Wade taking turns playing one on one basketball. Both great players, there was no team ball movement concept, it was just simply, watch two amazing players play ball with a very good big man. The advantage they had was when one went out of the game, the other was still there in his prime to take over the game. Again, yeah its nice watching one guy play one on one ball and take it to the hole and do a nice flashy dunk, and get the fake Miami fans all excited...if thats your thing, but thats not team ball. Lebron learned that concept when he and Wade were left to laugh against the Spurs in the press conference becasue they realized there was nothing they could do when an entire team played against just the two superstars. That TEAM left Lebron helpless.

I'll just stop. We'll see what happens. As much as I hate the smirk on Doc and Austin Rivers face, if the GSW or Spurs don't make it to the finals, then I hope the Clippers do.

I'll keep watching and see if things change under Donovan.

SkalAndJamal
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Westbrook doesnt make his

Westbrook doesnt make his teammates better?? How the hell is Roberson in the league then? Enes is playing twice as good as he played in Utah. Other than Waiters, who in their offense lets him make a play for himself, Westbrook is the main facilitator for the team and all the guys in the rotation except Morrow are shooting 47% or higher through the first 3 games of the season... And that's just a statistical standpoint. If you watch the games, Westbrook gets his teams to play hard in every offensive and defensive possession in the game, whether it's running hard in transition, or putting in 2nd and third efforts to get a close out or stop the dump off.

Espresso
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If you watch the the Orlando

If you saw Westbrook's highlights in Magic vs OKC. You would notice most times Westbrook drove in, Durants defender would dip in the paint and you can see the best scorer in the NBA wide open waving his arms as Westbrook MAKES a contested layup.

I don't think is cool for Wesbrook to do that, his main job should be getting Durant the ball. It wouldnt surprise me if Durant bucked after this year. OP is right in that West should pass more.

SkalAndJamal
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So what if he took a

So what if he took a contested layup. it's like an 18 year old going up and taking a layup on elementary school kids. Until Westbrook plays against team that can stop him, he should keep dominating.

SlickBouncePass
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yeah and that

Translates to 0 championships. I think we see what you are saying, we just want him to enhance his game to get to the next level, otherwise, its just a hype-job if you don't have the IQ and the ability to recognize when the ball needs to go to your greatest offensive tool.

Only Curry and Lebron deserve superstar status.

Superstars do these things: Score at will, great passers, uplift teammates, highest level IQ, dominant defense, win.

Kobe, Duncan, Lebron, Shaq, and obviosuly MJ had all 6 qualities, Kobe just by the level of his game, not necessarily being a great teammate.

Curry lacks defense, but his other intangibles being able to play within a team concept, put him at the top level. and Westbrook lacking that at times making bonehead moves consistently, drops him a notch.

The rest of these guys all miss something, so let's not put them up on this giant pedestal destined to win just yet. Taht was my biggest problem with Carmelo, was anointed as some superstar but he coudln't wipe the dust off Lebron's shoes.

SkalAndJamal
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0 championships? When was the

0 championships? When was the last time this Thunder team was healthy? I can guarantee you if this team stays healthy barring any significant trades, they are winning the championship this year.

BleedGreen808
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Sorry but I looked up Rasheed

Sorry but I looked up Rasheed Wallace and in his career he shot 3228 threes compared to taking 3162 free throws so wouldn't that make him a stretch big man?

SlickBouncePass
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the problem is you looked him up

In Short, Wallace probably shot a lot more 3s later in his career like when he was on Boston, thats why stats aren't always reliable. He had an unstoppable midrange game and was also one of the smartest players of that era. His play from the 4 Position was competetive with Duncan, Webber, and KG, that was a great era of PFs after the Mailman and Barkley got old, was a joy to watch.

His offenseive skill set was way way way more developed than Ibaka, who should be crashing boards. If they need a 3 pointer give the ball to 6'10'' Durant who can shoot it whenever he wants. Nobody needs to see an awkward 6'10'' Ibaka shooting 3s. He just needs to pick up Westbrook and Durant garbage and crash boards, thats all they need from him, and maybe develop a post-game. Not do the same stuff Durant does.

BleedGreen808
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Actually I thought the same

Actually I thought the same thing but he had a bunch of seasons where he shot more with other teams. He took 290 with Boston in his one year there. In Portland during his 5th season he took 317 and then 307 the following year. In 2005-06 season he took 434 threes while with the Pistons. He had 6 seasons where he shot more than the 290 he took with Boston. Another reason I'd consider him a stretch big is that out of his 13529 fga 23.9% of those were threes.

I would just like to say that I know Wallace was more skilled than Ibaka on offense but looking at the numbers, shooting threes was where a lot of his shot attempts came from. I do agree with you though that Ibaka shooting threes isn't something I'm a big fan of.

sitlbito
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"they don't win a

"they don't win a championship playing like that". First of all,there are opponents,secondly they haven't lost a playoffs series with their big 3 healthy since 2012.

XYRYX
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Honestly you really picked

Honestly you really picked the wrong time to question Westbrook and bis leadership. It doesn't help that you should mention that he celebrates a teammates basket like crazy every time and aside from that he not only is the reighning scoring champ and only 2nd to Curry right now, he is also the 4th best passer and is shooting above 50% from the floor.

And Ibaka might really he the best catch and shoot big man in the whole league right now. The only other guy who is this automatic from midrage up to the 3 point line to me is Aldrige and when back healthy 100% Kevin Love.

And one thing I never understood and clearly is in question now is that people say he should get KD the ball more often. They are the best duo in the league and both benefit tremendously from each other. Imagine Roberson when Roberson could actually knock down an open shot, Westbrook would have 10+ assists per game.

This years team is so different to the teams from the past and people should embrace what Russ can do, put up LeBron type numbers as a PG! Wow

SkalAndJamal
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preach

preach

SlickBouncePass
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we will see

its early. may be the wrong time, but we'll see just how "different" this team is come the playoffs.

Ibaka is the best catch and shoot big man, after 3 games, I won't even waste my time going through at least 10 guys that are better and don't have a guy like KD to shoot the rock.

To me, its just not a championship team because the IQ on the team is low. Its a high energy team, so get your fix off of that, because high energy doesn't win championships unless they play out of their mind. Right now, they have chemistry and have played together for years.

I'll put up a different thread about role players on contenders, I don't care about getting negged. I realize the team is palying very well right now, but its just different.

The way Curry and Lebron orchestrate and play within a game, is differnet from Westbrook in the past. Even the GOAT Jordan was a master at times of picking and choosing when to be great, he didnt' play at the behest of his teammates like Westbrook is prone to do.

Guys like Melo were never surperstars to me, because of their lack of ability to play as a team.

XYRYX
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I'm not basing my opinion on

I'm not basing my opinion on Ibakas shot on the last three games but on the last 2 years and what I've seen the last three games. Presti was asked who he thought had the best offseason this year and he said Ibaka which really surprised me but that clearly means something when you consider Westbrook just broke into superstardom and his former MVP just overcame a 27 game season and is back in action.

When KD and Russ were out last year I was looking closely if Ibaka could grow into a go to guy and he couldnt. He just can't create his own shot and is a piss poor passer and can't make a dribble and he still can't but hell he can not only hit open catch and shoot pull ups but also contested shots when the clock winds down.

If you know 10 bigs better doing this out to the three point line please name a few.

And maybe LeBron and Curry can run a team better but Westbrook clearly grew into a great leader over the past 2 seasons and maybe Wall can be added to this group too but what kind of assists numbers has Russ to put up to prove he is not only the best rebounding guard (not only point guard!!) and along with Curry the best scorering guard in the league?

What this team still lacks is a decent backup 3 who is a little more versatile like Singler who is not one of my favorites but the rest is pretty good set and I even think Waiters found true home with this team and has a lot of room to grow into what is needed oi of him.

Russ has come a very long way to me and when Barkley said a few years ago Westbrook will be league MVP within 3 years many laughed but look what a weapon he became. Kobe even said Russ has Mamba blood in him and many shook heads but he clearly is a leader now.

Memphis Madness
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In other thread, someone

In other thread, someone posted the Truth, saying that there are no Batman and Robin in OKC. It's Batman and another super hero.

It's more like Batman and Superman. Two alpha superstars who can coexist given the right script.

I really like Westbrook more as the first option -- his mentality is better. Then you have Kevin Durant as then one of the BEST second options of all time.

Who knows what happens with their role players this year... I trust Serge Ibaka (kinda), but the rest of the guys haven't proven anything consistently.

I DO like their coach now. He is a WINNER. He has had proven success. He is also not too young, or too old. I always felt like he ran a clean program at Florida, which is to be commended.

Between Russ, KD, Ibaka, and Billy D they have their CORE FOUR -- the Bulls had a Core Four of MJ, Pip, Rodman, and Phil Jackson.

... I would think that if I were running the team I would go with lots of Kanter/McGary pairings off the bench. Kanter can score and McGary is a bulldog. That could really work...

I think it will take a strong minded coach to get the most out of Dion Waiters, but they need a guy like him to be their scorer off the bench.

They might need to pick up another 3 and D wing player but that would be about it. Apparently Westbrook and Durant can dang near outscore a team by themselves.

If they can tighten up the defense, we should see an epic Warriors-Thunder Western Conference Finals.

In my own personal power poll I have the Warriors at 1 and the Thunder at 2. In the MVP power poll I have Steph Curry at 1 and Westbrook at 2. I can imagine this being the top of the list for basically the entire year.

Is Westbrook the next/current Michael Jordan? Different build, different game, but both explosive, frenetic, prodigious talents... By the end of the year RW could be on the shortlist of all-time guards in their prime.

You know the guy is good because he is overshadowing one of the best pure scorers in NBA history (Durant).

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I'm tired of hearing about

I'm tired of hearing about how Russ doesn't make his team better or uplift his teammates. If you don't think that Westbrook playing with such intensity and ferocity makes the whole team want to play their hardest, then you haven't been watching this team at all for the past couple seasons.

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Why can't people just accept

Why can't people just accept the fact that AT THEIR POSITIONS, Westbrook is every bit as dominant as KD. If not more. Also, I'll never understand this notion that Westbrook doesn't pass the ball enough or hold KD back... He was 4th in assist last year, but nevermind that right? The fact that KD led the league in scoring every year when healthy except one, and he lost by like .3 points or something is a testament to that. KD still gets his. But Russ is a force in his own right that needs to get his as well.

SkalAndJamal
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Exactly and where the heck is

Exactly and where the heck is Durant's assists? So many people are so damn closeminded into thinking Durant is this perfect basketball player but it's the same scouting report on him.. stay attached and guard him for the whole possession, while Westbrook you cant deny from getting the ball because before you know it he's already at the rim catching an alleyopp or getting a handoff and getting to the rim. And you cant back off him cause the last thing you want is him to have a full head of steam and dunk on you, and you cant guard him too close cause he'll just get by you. You cant overhelp cause he'll make the right kick out. Really the only thing you can do is has a guy who is strong phyiscally and just pray.

SlickBouncePass
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i get all of that

I just think he can be better by getting KD good shots, because KD is one of the best shooters in the game,

You have to know when to get KD the ball, vs. putting up your own bad shot that was lucky to go in.

Basketball is about ball movement and taking good shots. I put Westbrook ahead of KD in terms of overall impact of the game...

But the way they play is not conducive to winning unless Westbrook plays smarter.

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