(UPDATE: Right on cue, Russell Westbrook has been named this week’s Western Conference Player of the Week.)
There is a reason you’re supposed to stay patient with young point guards. Common sense says they will progress. They will improve. Stay patient, stick to the plan and you will be rewarded.
And that’s exactly what’s happening with Russell Westbrook. Everyone likes to talk about what Kevin Durant has done over the last 24 games, but how about Westbrook (since the Eric Maynor deal): 16.4 ppg, 8.5 apg, 4.9 rpg, 3.0 turnovers per game and 43 percent from the field. Right now, Westbrook is eighth in the league in assists (7.5 per game) and 20th among point guard in assist to turnover (2.36).
I mentioned before the season that this Oklahoma City squad was likely on track for around 35 wins unless Russell Westbrook started to make a leap into stardom. Well, I think he’s doing precisely that. Just like Durant a year ago, Westbrook is really making strides in the new year, even more so in February. The sample size is small, but in three games thus far this month, Westbrook is averaging 19.7 ppg, 9.7 apg, 8.0 rpg, 3.3 steals per game and only 1.7 turnovers per game. And he’s shooting over 47 percent from the field.
Rewind two months ago. Westbrook was a daily topic of Thunder discussion. Some said he’s not a point guard nor will he ever be. Some wondered where he could fit in with this team. Some wished for Ricky Rubio. We all wondered whether or not Westbrook was going to be the point guard you could rely upon down the stretch of an important game. Last week, he gave you three pretty good examples that yes, you can. Keep Reading…