I posted a few days ago that when you have Westbrook as your PG you have to "live and die" with him. I said that because its so much Westbrook bashing on here its ridiculous. I was going to make a post about how Magic and Steven A. blasted Russ and basically name dropping Scott Brooks, Mo Cheeks, and Kenny Smith as PG references. The point of my post was going to be that he is Russell Westbrook, and no one else and the Thunder are successful because of him.
Now what I am about to say is going to draw negs, but I am not here for points. I am here to give an objective opinion.
People love KD so much that they are blinded by who he is and how great a player he really is. Lebron is the best player, but he is not clutch because he cant hit a jumper in the 4th quarter or whatnot. Lebron is not a pure shooter, KD is. KD is a pure shooter and scorer, he is supposed to hit jumpers when he gets the ball, doesnt make him anymore clutch. Lebron's problem is, he plays away from his strengths sometimes and settles for jumpers. If you give the ball to KD outside of 20' and do the same for Lebron, in 4th quarters who is going to hit more? KD, because thats his game.
Its proposterous for people to think that Westbrook is better than KD. I think he very well could be. The problem is, we have so many definitions. When it comes to Lebron, people say, just because a player is better all around doesnt mean they are better....in defense of KD. My favorite one is....triple doubles are overated. When it comes to Russ, he is a very flawed player...so in peoples minds, because he is flawed he is deemed as not a good a player as KD.
I am here to tell you....Russ is a BIG TIME player. When KD went out with injury last year....who carried the Thunder? Last night, when KD disappeared who carried the Thunder? I dont want to hear that bull about Westbrook made a stupid foul and he dribbled the ball off his leg. If Russ didnt take over, they wouldve been blown off the phuckin map. He was matching the Heat bucket for bucket. Yet KD is the best player on the planet? He is great, but the fact that he disappears should tell you he is not quite as ready for prime time as you guys think. Russ was a demon.
You live and die with Russ because he is a flawed player....if the Thunder lose it will be because of Russ, but if they win it will be because of Russ. This team is not good without him. Everyone is enamoured with KD's pure scoring ability but he never impacted the winning column like Lebron did in Cleveland...so how is he better? Because he is a pure scorer? There should be no argument against guys like Wilt then.
I was in the barbershop and people just hate the Heat and everyone is pulling for OKC, but they are blinded by a lot of things. One person said that KD will accomplish more than LBJ in his career. Maybe, but thats not necessarily true and subject to circumstance. I believe KD will likely be the greatest pure scorer to play the game by the time he is finished, but that doesnt mean he will be better than Lebron or Jordan....just better pure scorer.
I posted a debate about who was better between Russ and KD and most people that dont analyze automatically say KD because he is the franchise, yada, yah... I ask, why cant Russ be a franchise level player?
Ask yourself this.....suppose KD didnt play at all last year....with the way they played without him, would Russ be an MVP candidate? I think Russ is the MVP of the Thunder...without him, they are not that good of a team. Who is more valuable to their team? Wade or Russ? Debatable....I dont have a problem saying Russ is though.
I am so glad that Magic and Steven A. offered their apologies to Russ because he is not Magic Johnson. He certainly isnt Kenny Smith, I dont even know why that came up because Kenny was a transition PG and spot up shooter, he was NOT a scorer. Russ isnt even a true PG, but he is a true player.
So I know you guys love KD but he is not the best player in the league. While I wont say he is the best player on his team, I do say that is a title he should be more than willing to share because in OKC's first NBA Finals appearance, Russ is playing like the guys I grew up watching, the MJ's, the Clyde's, the Malone's, etc....He is truly a big time player. For him to receive that critical lashing in game two and come back with this performance tells you he has the mentality of a Jordan/Kobe. This guy is ice cold and I am really tired of all the bashing of him for what he is not or what he should be.
29ppg, 7rbg, 7apg in the NBA Finals. When OKC loses....dont blame it on Russ.
I've been hard on him for a long time, but I have to hand it to him after last night. Regardless of his foul, he was the only reason the game wasn't a blowout anyway and he looked literally unstoppable in the 4th.
overall when you get over 40 points on impresive shooting how in the world someone can blame on you..yesterday was average day for KD so if not Westbrook the game wouldn't be close and there would be no talks about one faul or other stuff..
I totally agree that Westbrook is unecessarily bashed by the media and by posters on here, and he is not the Thunder's top player, like you said. I do think that Durant is every bit as important for the Thunder to win, but he just does what he is expected to do consistently.
Durant's half court scoring is super efficient. The Thunder's most dangerous half-court play is a Durant pin down. Now, Westbrook makes that play more effective due to the threat of him slashing, but the fact is the Thunder are at their best when Durant can lead them in scoring. Durant is also more consistently efficient on offense and is more dangerous off the ball.
Westbrook's ability to slash to the hoop and attack the basket both in transition and in the half court is absolutely vital to the Thunder's success. The Thunder need him at the top of his game to win a championship. The reason he is bashed is that he has the ability to dramatically hurt the team on his off days, as he is wired to be a scorer. Durant is a scorer, too, but he is very consistent.
While the Thunder would still be a good team with either Westbrook or Durant, but not the other, but the Thunder would not be where they are now without both. However, I think the Thunder could win without Westbrook easier than they could without Durant, even if Westbrook seems to swing the outcomes of games more with his more erratic efficiency.
Westbrook was arguably a top 2 point guard this year and definately top 4. With Rose out and Deron Williams irrelevant in NJ. If I had to rank point guards this year it was CP3 first, Parker/Westbrook/Rondo in some order after. He isn't a conventional PG but he does what his coach asks of him. Why he gets hated for being the player OKC wants him to be is beyond me. He is a stud and I am sure if they wanted him to be more of a pure PG he would get 8apg but they don't so that is irrelevant.
The D.Rose vs Westbrook battle continues
I love Derrick Rose. I am a bigger fan than him than I am of Russ. Russ already had my respect, but last night??? He single-handedly took on the Heat, I mean that was one of the greatest Finals performances I have ever witnessed...so I dont want to hear about one stupid little foul or how he needs to stop shooting so much. He is what he is. A flawed player, but a dominant one when he gets it going. The shots he was making was incredible. I forgot to mention that he is avg 29ppg in the Finals on 48% shooting. I think Russ and Rondo alike are underated as far as how great they are because they are flawed players.
Remember, the Celts wanted to get rid of Rondo....and just read on this forum from last year's playoffs and see how many people were saying that the Thunder should get rid of Russ.
I don't think i had ever seen a guard make Wade look slow. Wade didn't guard him the whole game or every game this series but when he does guard him Westbrook drives past him more times than not like he is slow. He even drives past Lebrong easier than any other player inclduing Rose. With Westbrook just like other players you take the good with the bad. You take LeBrons lack of consistant jumper with his unstoppable drives and all around game. You take Kobe's bad shots with his ability to change a game with his scoring. You take Gasol's softness with his ability to hit the jumper and good passing for a big man, Rondo and his lack of jumper with his passing, defense, rebounding etc
However, his one man show cost them this game and now the series. He puts up great fantasy numbers but doesn't make the winning plays for his team. I just don't feel he is the proper PG formula for a championship team. Also, the Thunder really need to address their inside play. Maybe they can get Pau Gasol.
"However, his one man show cost them this game and now the series. He puts up great fantasy numbers but doesn't make the winning plays for his team."
one thing is for sure....your role here on this site is well defined.
One man show? Did you watch the game....HE HAD TO SCORE to even keep them in the game. He would pass to Durant and he would either pass it back or be well defended. Durant did score but he had to work extra hard for just about every point. Harden has checked out so hes not help and there is no other player that you would want getting a lot of shots. Westbrook didn't cost them the game he kept them in the game. You should change you're name to Skip Bayless
It's not Westbrook's fault that Harden and Ibaka haven't showed up yet. Nick Collison played well last night, but didn't play enough.
Hey, Mario Chalmers went off. Even Norris Cole hit some shots. If that doesn't happen then this series is tied at 2 games a piece.
I still think that the Thunder need to start Harden and run the offense through him and play both Durant and Westbrook off the ball. Then bring in Thabo and Collison as defensive reserves.
I think that team needs some help at point guard. They have to use Russell more at the 2. If I were the Thunder I would look at signing Jason Kidd or Andre Miller.
Isn't this funny?
Westbrook does everything he can do for his team but a simple mistake in the clutch and everybody says, "Oh well, great job. You'll get 'em next time".
LeBron can get a triple-double with 45 points but if he makes a mistake like that, he would be crucified by you guys.
Sadly, ever since the announcement many people seem to have lost all sense of objectivity when it comes to Lebron. He is now evaluated by standards that are impossible to live up to. We are supposed to be a society that believes in second chances and we have seen drug users, convicted felons all being forgiven for past transgressions and yet Lebron who has been a great model for the league right out of high school and has never done anything to embarass the league,being disparaged non stop for two years. Yes, indeed it seems as if their hypocricy knows no bounds.......
It was a grat performance from Westbrook, but then again, didn't KD only shoot it 18 times making 9 of them? I don't really think you can say he dissappeared when he didn't get the ball much in the last stretch. If Westbrook was missing thm I'd be mad, but he made them. But I'm just saying you can't say Durant dissapeared.
KD didn't demand the ball enough thats why he didn't shoot more. Westbrook was goin gout of his way to get him the bqall but Durant is so light in the @ss that the was posting up almost at the three point line because Wade or Bron would push him that far out. He by no means had a bad game but when you are considered the best (by some not me, that would be LeBron) player on the planet you have to demand the ball and find ways to get open. One thing should be his main focus for the off season and that's to get stronger
Westbrook has earned my respect,to me he's now among the 5 most Difficult players in the nba to stop..When he's on his game the Thunder are unbeatable..
That was a mental mistake that happens to alot of players in the heat of the moment..Remember Georgetown's Fred Brown tossing the ball to UNC's James Worthy during the 1982 title game? And Chris Webber calling a timeout the team didnt have?
The Thunder had a 17 point lead,but made the mistake of taking outside shots trying to put the game away,instead of continuing the terrific ball movement and driving the basket...Too much 1 on 1 in the 4th quarter led to bad shots and turnovers.... And fouling back to back 3 point attempts in game 3 also hurt them....
OKC main trouble I believe is on the defensive end - Durant can't guard LeBron, he picks up fouls on him in a hurry, so LeBron is being guarded by Sefolosha and Harden and that is just SAD to watch.
LeBron has the size and strength of a PF and SGs guarding him can't do nowt.
I believe Pierce's ability to guard LeBron is exactly what kept Boston in the game, OKC doesn't have a single guy who can slow down LeBron
I've always felt Rus doesn't get his credit.
Check his stats year by year,then look at the Thunders record:
08-09 15.3 PPG, 5.3 APG, 4.9 RPG, 3.3 TO's per, Thunder record 23-59
09-10 16.1 PPG, 8.0 APG, 4.9 RPG, 3.2 TO's per, Thunder record 50-32
10-11 21.9 PPG, 8.2 APG, 4.6 RPG, 3.8 TO's per, Thunder record 55-27
11-12 23.6 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.7 RPG, 3.6 TO's per, Thunder record 47-19(If they played 82 games they would have went over the 55 game win mark.
So far each year Westbrook has progressed the Thunder have gotten better in the regular season.
Now let's look at playoffs:
08-09(Didn't make it)
09-10: 20.5 PPG, 6.0 APG, 6.0 RPG, 2.3 TO's per( 2-4 Lost first round to the Lakers)
10-11 23.8 PPG, 6.4 APG, 5.4 RPG, 4.5 TO's per(9-8 Lost Semi's to Dallas(4-1)
11-12 23.3 PPG, 5.8 APG, 5.5 RPG, 2.2 TO's per(13-6) Currently down 3-1 to Miami in NBA Finals.
I'm not saying this is all because of Westbrook, because it's not the Thunder have alot of young talent on their team, but Westbrook is arguably the spoon that stirs this pot, yes he makes questionable decisions at times, but he is an ELITE guard hands down, and he gets better and better every year.
"It was a grat performance from Westbrook, but then again, didn't KD only shoot it 18 times making 9 of them?"
What I am saying about KD is, you didnt know he was in the game. He has to get open, come off screens or something....demand the ball. If he is not in position for Russ to get it to him then Russ has to take the shot. In all fairness thats not all KD's fault. Brooks is supposed to have sets to free up KD. nevertheless, KD doesnt get the brunt of the criticism when he disappears, but less Russ force some shots...then he is the worst PG to ever play in the Finals. One thing about KD though that is on him is, if he is not able to get the ball to score he doesnt have many other ways to impact the game. He is 6'9" and had 2 rebounds....he shouldve been trying to get on the offensive glass for some putbacks.
forgot, Russ is avg nearly 7apg against a little over 2tpg. he has a 3.1 a/t ratio. He may not be a true PG, but he is a damn good ballhandler.
Kevin Durant is my favorite player ever, but Russell Westbrook is just as important, IF NOT MORE, to this teams success and Durant knows this. Why do you think Durant never has a problem with Westbrook taking all these shots? Is he just that nice of a guy? NO! He knows that is how this team work. Look, you have 24 seconds to get a shot off, and especially in the NBA Finals, you are simply not always going to get a good look. If they are not getting a good shot off, it just seems like Westbrook has the confidence to take that hard shot every time needed. Simply, a team is going to miss shots. Westbrook misses the shots for the Thunder. Every hard shot they take, he is the one taking it. Why do you think Durant never has a horrible shooting night? Yeah he might have a bad night like last night, but he is damned near 50% from the field still. It is because Durant (and Harden) never have to force it. If they don't have a good shot, they simply don't shoot. If Westbrook doesn't shoot, the shot clock runs out. Say what you want about players like him, but the Thunder need him to succeed. They need that player with a Kobe/Iverson type attitude, that even if he missed 10 shots in a row and the game is one the line, he doesn't feel the pressure and acts as if it is any other shot. If you saw Harden last night, after missing shots you could tell he was shooken up.He missed a layup, a few open threes, I even saw him hesitate to pull up for a wide open mid range free throw jumper and than miss it. I am not blaming Harden because obviously everyone has bad games (Westbrook game 2). Durant didn't look like he was shooken up like Harden, but he was still having a sub-par game for his standards. They would have been blown out early last night without Westbrook. Maybe he forces it a little too much, but it allows Durant and Harden to be the "good guys" who never force it and never look like ball hogs and never have to take the blame. Because if Durant and Harden took the blame, it might actually affect there game like anybody else not named Kobe,Jordan,Iverson, etc. Just keep blaming it on Westbrook, and he will take the blame for the team, and he won't be affected at all. Oh yeah, he is 23 years old.
I have been arguing for a while on the westbrook subject that he is a better PLAYER than durant. Last nights game was just the start of what will open everybody's eyes. I'm not going to base my reasons off of last game im going to tell the same reasons i've been saying. Durant may be the best scorer in the league but he still can't get open against physical defense, when is a horrible defender (had to guard chalmers who had 25 after averaging 5 the first 3 games), and durant doesn't have the fire of being the best player. The reason westbrook is the better player is because he has a way better overall game than durant. He is a great defender, rebounder, and scorer for his position. He is the clear emotional leader of the thunder and he never backs down from nobody. Its a shame he guards lebron and wade better than a 7 foot durant does. And for the peolpe who talk about westbrook's shot selection if you watch the games he takes some bad shot like all players but he has to force shots because durant cant get open and his other choices are perkins, ibaka, and sefelosha.
And for everybody that is still saying paul is the best pg do yall watch the games or just the highlights? he isnt better than rose, rondo, or westbrook the media has just hyped this man up. And don't say he's the reason the clippers were good this year they were going to make the jump to the playoffs before they got cp3 but he gets all the credit. He didnt make one single player better on the clippers this year and truth be told blake got worse this year with cp3
Magic Johnson and Stephen A. Smith were way out of line criticizing Russell Westbrook the way they did.
He could make better decisions at both ends and improve his shot selection at times, but I seriously like every single last thing about him. I love his confidence/swagger.
He's durable, which Derrick Rose and Chris Paul are not. He's just as much as the competitor as Rose and Paul. He has a go-to move in his pull up elbow jumper (even though he can improve pulling up going to his right) and he's an improving shooter overall.
And athletically... Smh. I don't even know what to say. He makes D. Wade look old. Not even LeBron can keep Westbrook in front of him. He attacks the basket and just puts so much pressure on the defense.
His performance last night was the best I'd seen in a long time. Probably since D. Wade went nuts against the Mavs.
I have Westbrook as the 2nd or 3rd best point guard in basketball heading into next season. He's no doubt a superstar/franchise player in my mind. A top 10-12 player in the NBA.
Do you still consider Tony Parker better than him than?
that was my point of the post....how Magic and Stephen A. did a complete 360 after last nights performance. they finally realize that the Thunder are where they are because Westbrook is who he is.
and to Russell0, I read your other post about CP3. I will say this....everything is relative to situation and circumstance....there really is no true best...
CP3, DRose, and Westbrook affect the win column more than any other PG. Rondo is probably the best complimentary PG in the league, meaning he can fit in mostly any system and help the team. DWill still probably is the best all around offensively when you consider he is not lacking in any area and is a great scorer, great assist man, and he is a team player....but he is not a game changer as a #1 option and his defensive effort lacks.
i still can't belive what a find it was for the Thunder in the draft, how they know he'll become this kind of superstar??? and big props to Russell for his improvment after his underwhelming UCLA career when he was playing behind the shadow of Kevin Love and Darren Collison and didn't had much of an offensive game.
Parker had a better season than Westbrook, and I still have Parker over him heading into next season... I expect Westbrook to pass him though.
thats why those GM's get paid the big bux. I think their formula was kind of simple though. first thing is if a guy is an elite athlete, you look at that as far as upside because now you just have to teach him how to play. if you have an elite athlete, the very worst you are going to get is a good defender. what made scouts like Westbrook was that when Collison went down, he showed that he was a capable ballhandler. I dont know if they really expected him to be a big time scorer like he is. I think they wanted an elite athlete that could defend PG's and could be a good ballhandler. Kind of like what expectations for Shumpert are. I really doubt they thought he would be a 20ppg scorer on a good team...especially not so early in his career. If they did, then they are really geniuses.
I swear surve, there are times where I genuinely feel like you and I may share a brain or tht you can read my thoughts through the internet. I was saying to my fiance' last night how it amazes me that KD can manage to have such little impact yet the Thunder STILL manage to be in the game. It seems every time the Thunder go on a run when down 10-15- or even 20 points it's usually because Russ begins to play out of his mind scoring, playing d, getting extra possessions on the boards, and genuinely hustling his ass off. I agree The Russ definitely has the Jordan/Kobe dog in his game. Durant is a baller, but Russy ultimately decides the fate of the Thunder and should have every right to be labeled as AT LEAST 1b for OKC.
Phuck...I thought I posted this at 11:00 AM. Hit post, hurried and left for work(call out), just got back and saw that I had to do a word varification. Crap.