Watching Westbrook play I understand he needs to learn how to play fast but while learning how to change speeds. This will be important as his career goes on. My question to you guys is with the way this guy takes care of his body can he be like T.O and be an athletic beast late in his career?
I'm going to say it's unlikely because his reckless style of play will lead to more injuries. Injuries slow guys down more than anything else.
Like Wade, VC, Baron Davis before him I think his attack-the-basket-with-aboadon style will, like you say, give him injury problems in his later career. Very few guys who play with that absolute top shelf speed and vertical can maintain it past their late 20's. Wade's game has declined a lot becuase unlike Jordan and Kobe he remained an average jump-shooter, whereas those guys developed it to an elite-level. Westbrook is already quite a good midrange shooter and I think this will only get better (and help him stay at the top) as he ages.
A few like Jordan and Kobe seem to hang onto the raw spped and jumps a little longer (into the 30s), and Westbrook reminds me of these guys a little with the wirey body shape - as opposed to the Wade/Baron speeding ball of muscle.
For Westbrook, I think the key to his longevity past 28-29 will be developing a post-game where he can bully other point gaurds on the block.
I think he'll struggle once he hits 29-30 and his athleticism starts to diminish. I don't think his game is multi-faceted enough to survive without it.
Of course with that athleticism, he's an absolute beast.
I think he can still be productive at that age.. IF he improves his post up game. That's how point guards with below average athletiscm make a living/career in the NBA. Gary Payton, Mark Jackson, Andre Miller.. etc.. He already has good height and strength to be able to bully other guards at the post.
If he develops a post game he should be fine, also a three point shot is just as important. If he can shoot 36 to 38% from three and have a solid post game he will be able to play a while.
Westbrook as a post-up nightmare and knockdown shooter in his later years? I just dont see it...
West really isn't that big. He is a bit of a post threat now due to athleticism, but mainly he is just an all around scoring threat. But, for example, he is much shorter than S Livingston and slighter of build than DWill. Without elite athleticism, and without fantastic touch, I don't see either of those guys being all that worried about a Westbrook post move. Just an example. Also, remember, that point post ups have a problem in that if they get doubled by a C or PF, then they have someone with a huge height advantage on them. It becomes a mismatch in the wrong direction pretty fast.