Attacking Russell Westbrook is the easiest to do because he is the only player being criticized when you turn on the television. He deserves a bit of it. Westbrook lacks the true point guard skills that will take his position play to the next level. What people are not taking into account is that he never played the position before. Although there may be spurts of excellence, he is still becoming acclimated to his role next to Kevin Durant.
But, critics are wrong in saying that he should not shoot or penetrate much. Penetration is his strength. He is usually the most athletic man on the floor and when he sees a mismatch he takes continuous advantage of it. Poor shot selection comes with the NBA territory. There are times when even Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and LeBron James choose their spots on the floor without putting much thought behind it.
In game three of the Dallas Mavericks series, who was the second scoring option? If Westbrook is not willing to step up to the plate when Durant does not have the hot hand, where will they turn? How long will they stay alive? Not very long if you ask anyone who actually sits down and pays attention to the game. There are a few other issues that need to be addressed before front office executives even think about shipping Westbrook off.
I’m a fan of Kendrick Perkins’ size and paint disruption. But, then again it seems a little shaky with the OKC Thunder team. His production is not a high as the team would have hoped. While he fit in perfectly with Boston’s system, he seems slow and overrated in OKC’s.
Perkins has the ability to be one of the better around the rim performers on the court, but in this series has barely positioned himself under the rim for offensive rebounds. In 82 minutes and 16 seconds, he has had three to be specific. As a matter of fact, the entire team has had 32 offensive rebounds in three games. Second chance points mean everything when the Mavericks are shooting 53.4% and 40% from behind the three-point line.
No one has room to point fingers. Let’s stop blaming him because it is easy.
Sidebar: Everyone wants to call Westbrook a sham when he has seven turnovers and 30 points, but no one wants to spotlight Dirk Nowitzki’s 18 points and seven turnovers.