Take a good look through there. Which one of those names doesn’t belong? Let’s see, by position: PF, PF, C, PF, C, PF, C, PF, C, C, C, PF, C, PF, PG, PF, C, PF, C.
Double-take? That’s right, Russell Westbrook is 16th in the Western Conference in offensive rebounds per game. A point guard – A POINT GUARD – right in the middle of all those names. In fact, he’s 30th in the entire league in offensive rebounds per game. He’s first in point guards by 49 offensive rebounds (Andre Miller is second with 106) and he’s sixth in all the rookies right behind Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (does he have an abbreviation for that mouthful? LRMaM? Can we just call him Mbah?) and right in front of Greg Oden.
Westbrook even had a game earlier this year where he recorded eight offensive boards (some good power forwards never do that in an entire career) and he’s got 11 games where he’s got five or more. (David Lee’s had five or more 17 times, Emeka Okafor 17 times, Pau Gasol 16 times and Paul Millsap 16 times. That’s numbers three, four, five and six in offensive rebounds in the league. And Westbrook, a 6-3 point guard, has 11. Amazing.)
More than anything else, this stat tells the story about Russell Westbrook. He may not make the best decisions. He may turn it over a lot. His jumper may be a work in progress. His court vision may not be there yet. He may the force the issue sometimes. And maybe you think he’s not the answer at point guard. But the guy plays ball. He works, he hustles and he does every stinking thing he’s capable of to help the team win. Say what you will about Russ and his defienciencies (which he has plenty), but the guy is an absolute, all-out ballplayer.