Russell Westbrook brought the ball up the court with 58 seconds left and the Oklahoma City Thunder trailing the San Antonio Spurs 115-107 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.
Westbrook proceeded to do what Westbrook does.
He hoisted a 25-foot 3-pointer that did not go in, effectively ending any chances of the Thunder completing a remarkable comeback.
*Queue Twitter killing Westbrook for this*
Westbrook is back in the playoffs and so are his haters. This time, it took until the Western Conference Finals for them to come out because, well, there was nothing wrong with Westbrook in the first two rounds.
You’re going to hear today:
“Westbrook shouldn’t be shooting more than Durant.”
“Russell Westbrook is not a true point guard.”
“The Thunder will never win a title with Westbrook as their point guard.”
Fact: if you have watched the Thunder play basketball this season and not overwhelmingly felt like they were on the verge of becoming the next NBA dynasty, you are a complete idiot.
The Thunder will start winning NBA titles one day. It might be this year or it might not be for another year or two. Russell Westbrook will be there for those titles.
If you watch the Thunder play and not just look at the box score, you know how good Westbrook is and how important he is to this team. They aren’t playing in the Western Conference Finals without him.
Kevin Durant is the best player on the Thunder but Westbrook is a close second and there are nights when he is better than Durant. He does more things than Durant can. He does the things that Durant cannot.
Westbrook does Westbrook.
The Thunder made a decision to let Westbrook be himself. When it works, it’s awesome. When it doesn’t, it can be ugly.
Learning to win a title is all about discovering your identity as a team when you have the talent (and the Thunder do). This is what we’re seeing right now with them. It’s a process and the Thunder having to beat a team like San Antonio that knows their identity better than anyone is part of the path.
Maybe the Thunder figure out how to overcome San Antonio in this series or maybe it takes another year.
It will happen one day and Westbrook will be a huge part of it.