Westbrook Hurting, not Helping Thunder?
Well, Russell Westbrook is why. And that was apparent from the top row of Chesapeake Energy Arena, where I couldn’t tell (Kendrick) Perkins from (Serge) Ibaka or (Udonis) Haslem from (Chris) Bosh, but I could tell something was wrong with Russell Westbrook.
He was hyper. Distracted. Erratic, out of control. He was doing the one thing he does when he’s playing poorly — he was playing too fast, and this is a guy whose speed is one of his greatest attributes. In the Western Conference finals he chased down Spurs blur Tony Parker, making a play Brooks said couldn’t be made by more than two or three guys in the world. Playing fast is what Westbrook does, and he does it well.
Playing too fast? It’s also what he does from time to time, and it’s his worst quality. He is so quick that he can get any shot he wants, whenever he wants it, but he hasn’t learned the discretion to choose wisely. And he chose poorly in the first few minutes of Game 2.
One minute into the game, he was able to create just enough space against the bigger Dwyane Wade for a 14-footer, a contested jumper he missed. Next time down Westbrook again went one-on-one with Wade, shooting from almost the same spot, a near air ball that just grazed the front of the rim.