The OKC Thunder are struggling. With the post-season looming, here are 3 things Russell Westbrook must improve for OKC to finish the season strong.
The ups and downs of the NBA season have hit the OKC Thunder with the team falling to a disappointing 6-11 since the All-Star break. One player who’s really improved at the turn of the break is superstar Russell Westbrook. Confusingly, this hasn’t been reflected in the Thunder’s record as other’s numbers have fallen off a cliff.
The Brodie is averaging 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10.4 assists on 42.5 percent shooting, 28.5 percent from three and 65.1 percent from the line. Compared to previous year’s, Westbrook has shot the ball poorly overall but has recovered to make 44.7 percent of his makes from the floor and 34.6 percent from three post-All-Star break. Smarter shot selection, finishing at the hole and more confidence shooting the rock has seen a spike in his production.
One of his more impressive games came in the 123-114 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors. Russ posted 42 points (16-29 from the field, 5-10 from three, 5-8 from the line), 11 rebounds and six assists.
Despite his improved play, the Brodie continues to mix in All-Star highlights with head-scratching performances. The most recent example of this came against the lowly Memphis Grizzlies without Mike Conley where Westbrook scored 16 points on 6-20 shooting. Russ is the motor that drives this squad and performances like that automatically put the Thunder behind the eight ball.
With the Thunder in a funk, the Brodie needs to lead this team toward the playoffs and it starts by turning around its fortunes. Here are three things Russ must do to make this final stretch a successful one.