Russell Westbook: Overrated or Unsupported?

Chop Stix

Well-known member
The Thunder are on the verge of their 3rd straight 1st round NBA playoff exit.

A common theme in the Thunder's losses so far this series against the Blazers has been the poor shooting and underwhelming play of star player Russell Westbrook.

So, what gives?

Is Westbrook an elite player on an average team in need of a better supporting cast?

Is Westbrook a good player that has mastered the art of regular-season-stat-stuffing but cannot lead his team to wins when it counts?

Or is he somewhere in between both of those assessments?


Well-known member
I don't watch very much non-playoff basketball, but I feel like Westbrook's trademark is being one of the few star guys that brings it just about every night during the regular season. The result is he out-athletes and efforts opponents and stuffs stats for a good but not great regular season team.

In the playoffs he sees good opponents in the first round that are dialed in every night. His flaws and inefficiencies are much more apparent. It's hard to excuse early playoff losses when he has another stud on his team.

It's hard to win in the playoffs when you have a guard or guards that are prone to poor shooting nights. I don't think you can go past the 2nd round in the west with him leading the way.

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Westbrook is a lightening rod because he's such a great individual talent, yet this just goes to show the team value of basketball. OKC is the 6th seed this year, they were the 6th seed two years ago. This means they are the underdog in the first round of the playoffs. Now last year they were a 4 seed.
Also, due to Westbrook's individual stat stuffing, he does, and will continue to garner individual honors. It's actually refreshing to see a guy who plays everynight, and plays hard. This used to be the norm rather than the exception. These days, players sitting out and "load management" it's hard to determine who is the real MVP.
We've also morphed the MVP discussion into only highly successful teams. It wasn't always this way. The MVP is an individual award and really shouldn't be an indication on team success.

Nos I will say that you get past Paul George and Stephen Adams, that's not a great supporting cast. I mean, Jerami Grant and Dennis Schroeder are their 4th and 5th scorers and they are likely bench guys for the rest of the NBA. Just dime a dozen guys. Now you also have to look at George and Westbrook taking over 20 shots a game, Adams is truly a guy who can play with them, but how do you fit other talented players around two guys who shoot so much.

So to answer the question, I'd say they are undersupported, but alot is by their own doing.