It’s becoming more apparent every game. You can ride with Russell Westbrook anywhere.
He was last seen all over the court in the 48th minute he played of the Thunder’s marathon win in New Jersey. It was the shiniest of the stat sheet-filling performances he’s had this season. But Westbrook’s emergence in the upper stratosphere of NBA stardom through the first part of this season has shown more than just flashes of staying power. He’s played superbly without Kevin Durant, as he did last night, but also with him on plenty of occasions. Teams are carving out more time for him when they scout the Thunder. And it’s not working.
But it’s not just what Westbrook does on the court. It’s how he does it. He’s just a little bit mean. And it means a lot to his team.
Westbrook’s captivating, explosive athleticism gives his game an edge all by itself. A ritual following nearly any game for many of us is searching on YouTube until somebody uploads his latest vicious dunk. The Nets game was no exception. Neither was the game before that. Or the one before that. And to ignite the magical 8-0 run in Game 3 of the Lakers series last season. And so on. He’s the best in-game dunker this side of Blake Griffin, and the only reason why he’s not No. 1 doubles as a good argument for why he maybe should be: he’s half a foot shorter. Keep Reading…