It’s the third year for Russell Westbrook without Kevin Durant, trying to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the first round in the NBA playoffs. As the memes spreading through the Internet suggest, it’s not going too well.
Once again, the Thunder find themselves on the brink of elimination and Westbrook, king of triple doubles which no one gets excited about anymore, finds himself as the one baring most of the blame. Deservedly?
To an extent. Yes, there’s Paul George’s injury which derailed a fine season by the Thunder, and there’s Billy Donovan un-inspired coaching, but Westbrook was supposed to learn by now that his way of basketball doesn’t lead to success.
His shooting in the series vs the Portland Trail Blazers so far? 36.3% from the field, including two games of 25%, 30.4% from three and turning the ball over 4.5 times a game. The Thunder are -11.7 points per 100 possessions when he plays, and are almost 20 points per 100 possessions worse off compared to when he’s on the bench. On top of that, Damian Lillard has been destroying him, per usual. Can Westbrook & the Thunder turn the tide? Doubtful.