Russell needs HELP
After watching the first 2 games of this Houston/OKC Series, IDK how they got this far. This team is ASS when Russell is not on the court. There has to be a FA that they could lure in to get all of the pressure of of this man. Kyle Singler out there getting minutes in the playoffs is laughable. Idk how they plan to win this series, and I'm a Thunder fan haha.
They got this far because they have a triple-double machine that's been carrying them all year. Oladipo, Kanter and Adams haven't proven to be the second, third and fourth options the Thunder need them to be. This to me is perhaps the best argument you can make for Westbrook as MVP. The Thunder are a high lottery team without him.
The issue isn't so much a lack of talent. It's the fact that the parts they acquired don't fit with Westbrook's game. Westbrook isn't a very good shooter; he lives on penetrating and either finishing/drawing a foul, or kicking out to shooters. OKC has no shooters besides McDermott.
Steven Adams is a really talented rebounder, defender, and finisher around the rim. But having him relegated to just boxing out so that Westbrook can get rebounds takes away one of his best traits. If OKC had shooters, a Westbrook-Adams pick and roll could be lethal. Instead, defenses pack the paint and clog things up.
Westbrook is a pretty poor defender, so I understand why OKC wanted to surround him with defense, but sacrificing any semblance of perimeter scoring for defense has hurt them pretty bad.
Even worse than surrounding Westbrook with a bunch of non-shooters is the fact that they made no attempt to acquire a guy that can run the offense when Westbrook rests. Even if it were just throwing Lou Williams out there to run a 2-man game for a few minutes, that would be a lot better than what OKC has with Semaj Christon.
OKC's front office strangely made no attempt to give Westbrook offensive help. The defense that his supporting cast provides is a major reason why they're in the playoffs, but it just isn't enough against a team like Houston.
Having said that, Westbrook is capable of helping his teammates a lot more than he did in the 4th quarter last night. He simply went into hero ball mode. He had McDermott open multiple times, and McDermott was shooting it well. Westbrook simply did not care.
I don't know if I blame the coaching or the GM but for some reason the thunder open every game facing an uphill battle as the start 4 non shooters or even decent scorers. Olidipo is the only decent scorer in the lineup besides Westbrook which sucks. This guy is like LeBron in a sense he does so much on offense that he needs at least 2 great shooters on the court with him at all times. This is one of the worse constructed teams I've ever seen make the playoffs as they have no identity or nothing positive to look for in the future besides Westbrook. It's so bad I don't even know what type of players they're looking for to put around Westbrook and I'm amazed he dragged these guys into the playoffs.
The team won't get much better as long as Westbrook continues to play this way. He put up spectacular numbers last night, but he also cost them the game by using the same strategy they've used all year: Russell Westbrook hero ball. Instead of making good basketball plays, he passed up wide open shooters to take contested layups.
Is his team talented enough to win the championship? No, but they're better than their reputation too.
Nobody wants to play with him. Other stars want to play with LeBron, Curry & Thompson, Chris Paul, etc.
Other stars look at Russell Westbrook, who says, "When I'm on the court, my only friend is the basketball," and they say, "Umm, I think I'll pass."
When guys like Bill Simmons say that he'd take OKC minus Westbrook over Houston minus Harden, that just shows they want to take every opportunity to discount Russ. Last night's game they got it within 3 when Harden was in at the end of the 3rd, but they went on a big run when he was out of the game. If Russ hadn't come back in, we would've lost by 20. Yeah he went ice cold and took some really awful shots, but I think he saw how pathetic it was when he was out of the game and felt like he couldn't completely trust everyone else. I can't really blame him because we look like the Nets without him
Russ shot the ball 43 times! Listen, I get it. He needs help. But there is no justification for shooting the ball that many times unless you've made 30 of em. He shot the ball 18 times in the fourth quarter. Come on man. 18? And he made 4 of them smh.
As spectacular as Russ is, he's gotta be a better floor general if he's going to contend while playing the 1. Don't get caught up in his 10 assists and think he did his part. His stat line doesn't prove that he's a distributer. It proves that he's a man trying to do it all, which isnt neccessarily the smartest approach.
Hero ball never works in the long run
It would have helped the Thunder to lose a few more games in the regular season if it meant trying to find an identity without Westbrook. Nobody else on this team is given a chance to be an impact player while Russ plays hero ball. It's clear that he doesn't trust anyone else on the team to go out and make a play. The Thunder also lack playmakers needed to compete in the playoffs. Aside from Westbrook, Oladipo may be the only player on the team that can make with the ball in his hands. It would do the Thunder to find point forward and to also tell Russ to trust his teammates more.
I would say trust is teammates is the biggest difference between Kobe's and Westbrook's mentality on the court. Was Kobe a ballhog? Yes, but he instilled confidence in the guys he passed the ball too and expected them to make plays when he gave the ball up. Russ only gives the ball up reluctanly
I can't agree with that. If anything the only guys he instilled confidence in were the vets who'd already been in awhile. As far as young players he is was pretty notorious for &$#%#&@! on them. Especially Andrew Bynum.
Andrew Bynum was one of the laziest players to play the game, so he's a bad example. And young guys like Jordan Farmer, Trevor Ariza, Shannon Brown, Sasha Vujacic, and Ronnie Turiaf found great success playing with Kobe. The only one of these guys that's still a rotation player today is Ariza
Im happy to see some people that see the same thing as me about Westbrook. Dont get me wrong, I dont think that any players can do what Westbrook do on the court (energy wise). But his help (teammates) are not as bad as they seems. A guy like Oladipo is having his worst season since his rookie year as the clear cut second option on the team. Thats not an accident, its hard to get going when you dont touch the ball and its frustrating. While im not saying that the Thunder would be better if Westbrook and the coaching staff have decided to trust more the other players. Im surely saying that the Westbrook teammates would look a lot better if that was the case.
Again, im not trying to discredit what Westbrook have done this season. I think that no player can give the same energy that westbrook does in a game of basketball. But here the stats of other stars with Westbrook usage rate for what it is whort:
Russell Westbrook: 31.7ppg, 11rpg, 10.4apg, 5.6tov, 42fg% usage 42%
LeBron James: 37ppg, 8.2rpg, 12.4apg, 6tov, 54fg% original usage 29.7%
Steph Curry: 35ppg, 4.5rpg, 9apg, 4tov, 46fg% original usage 29.5%
Kevin Durant: 38ppg, 8.2rpg, 7.2apg, 2.87tov, 44fg% original usage 27.8%
James Harden: 36ppg, 8rpg, 14apg, 7tov, 44fg% original usage 34%
Isaiah Thomas: 35.7ppg, 2.7rpg, 7.5apg, 3.3tov, 46fg% original usage 34.4%
last nite okc's bench was -64..rockets bench +41.....
Rockets went on a 10-0 run at the end of the 3rd literally in the 1:50 Westbrook went out for a breather to cut the lead down to 3, which included a possession with Jerami Grant and Semaj Christon playing hot potato with the ball and Christon jacking up a 3 pointer to beat the clock. They literally cannot afford to let other guys try and manufacture points.
People are really bad at seeing things in anything other than black and white. They have to though for Westbrook.
He deserves MVP this year for carrying the slopfest that is the Thunder as far as he has. His regular season was incredible and his tenacity is a rarity in the NBA nowadays.
The other side of the coin is that Westbrook plays a style that only seems to work if he's got bad teammates around him - or teammates that fit into a very specific and limited style of play. He needs to be surrounded by shooters or finishers. And ultimately when teams get to the playoffs, a team with one guy who creates and four guys who watch can't win.
I was going to say, start McDermott and bring Oladipo off the bench, but I looked and Oladipo actually has a better 3-pt % this year, with way more attempts.
I'm guessing they start Oladipo and Roberson so that Russ can guard the least demanding of the other team's three perimeter guys, am I right? Who's mostly been on Harden so far in this series?
Taj Gibson seems like a weird guy for them to acquire. They needed a 4 who can shoot from distance, not another rebounder.
How much better do you think OKC might be if they had just a solid veteran PG on their team ... think someone like Jameer Nelson or JJ Barea. Russ would still touch the ball on almost every posession and take most of the shots, but he wouldn't necessarily have to be the decision-maker every time, and they could run some different things, like the p&r with Westbrook spacing the floor as a shooter,
After the Clippers get eliminated early again, Blake Griffin is coming home, tell the world he's coming home.
Firstly the following is fact this playoffs:
Russell is trying to hard this series and there is no K.D scorer to help with the load.
The team has been caught in Russell Mania aka the season of the triple double.Resulting in stannding around expecting Russ to bail them out..
Oladipo is a 3rd option at best unless he somehow turns it around but as of right now he is proving me right on that I would have prefered to Keep Waiters on a cheaper deal and have had some cap to get someone else...As Waiters lives for this kind of stage and trys to affect the game if his shot isn't falling ..
Kanter is good against most teams baring Houston unless you are just trading buckets,GSW,Wiz and Trailblazers-common trend all have very good back courts and pick and roll him and our back court doesn't switch properly leaving him on no mans land.
Adams needs to become our second option or at least 3rd option by demanding the ball,having players cut off him and having more development time on the offensive end(there was an expected adjustment time due to going from roler player to 2nd highest player).
Our team needs to be constructed something like this:
Starters : Adams,Taj,Insert better fitting SF,Roberson,Russ
Bench: Kanter,Sabonis,Doug M(if you believe you cant help that defense),Abrines and Oladipo(who would take on more of super sub role like Waiters did when here)
However our issue is this We are capped out and probly won't get a fair trade for any of our assets our best bet is somehow getting either a player who may have fallen out of the graces of that team: E.G a Mello(he needs to buy in on the defensive end though if he is traded here) or a young promisng prospect that isnt getting a fair shot right now or on bad team like a Mario Herzonja..
Everybody else is either scared of the moment, can't do anything, or not a good fit
They need cap space if they want to continue to compete