When you hear the name Russell Westbrook, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
An NBA superstar? One of the greatest players in the NBA history? MVP? Irrational player? Loser? Stat-padder? Or nothing?
In the season 2016-2017, Russell Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game. His personal performance and his contribution to the Oklahoma City Thunder led him to bypass everyone in the league to win the season MVP award. Also, he became the first player to average triple-double in a season since Oscar Robertson in season 1961-1962. His performance also led the Thunder into the Playoffs.
Although they were eliminated by the Houston Rockets from the first round, Westbrook recorded a remarkable 37.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 10.8 assists, and 2.4 steals in that five-game series. Through his historical season, Westbrook gained a lot of praises and love from former NBA players, fans, and sports analysts. Meanwhile, people started making noise about how he built up his stats instead of helping his team to win the game.
This season, Russell Westbrook continues to fire. With the help of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, he is now averaging 24.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game. But with the early struggles of the Thunder, what do you think about his performance? You can see a lot of people saying different things on the media and the noises commenting about Westbrook are all over again. Before judging him, let us take a look at the insight of Russell Westbrook’s stats.
In the first 35 games, Westbrook holds a player efficiency rating of 23.7. When Westbrook is on the court, the team generates 107.5 points per 100 possessions. When Westbrook is off the court, the team generates only 95.6 points per 100 possessions. His plus/minus per 100 possessions on the court is 6.1 and his plus/minus net per 100 possessions is 13.8.
Both are higher than last season (4.0 and 12.5 respectively). Besides that, his usage percentage is 33.5 this season, which is 7.3% lower than last season. Therefore, Westbrook basically generates more positive effects with a lower usage percentage compared to last season.
In the last 10 games, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 10.3 assists per game while shooting at 47.7 percent. His sharp performance led Thunder to win 8 of the last 10 and 12 of the last 15 games while they recorded only 8 wins over the first 20 games. Besides that, Westbrook recorded 29.8 points (59.8 FG%), 9.0 rebounds, and 9.5 assists per game to lead the team to win all four games over the last week. Westbrook was also named the player of the week.
Now, how do you think about Russell Westbrook’s performance? Is he a stat-padder? Or a true contributor? In his 10 seasons with the Thunder, Westbrook gives all he has to the games especially after Kevin Durant left the Thunder. Russell Westbrook loves the games, he does not care what people think about him. He brings his energy out every single game. He is a true contributor!