Despite scoring the game winning shot and leading the game in scoring, Anthony Davis wasn’t the main focus following the New Orleans Pelicans beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99. It was Russell Westbrook and especially his misses and selfishness on the floor that grabbed most of the attention.
A Westbrook turnover (he had six of them) led to a Jrue Holiday assist and Anthony Davis scoring his 38th point of the game to give the Pelicans the lead once and for all, lasting the final three minutes without giving up points (or scoring them) and creating some separation from the Thunder in the lower parts of the qualifying zone for the Western conference playoffs, which is going to be battled for all season long.
At the end of the game, Westbrook was questioned about his shots in the end and throughout the game, and whether or not it wouldn’t have been better to try and pass the ball. Westbrook, in true defiant form, said he doesn’t want to hear anything about his passing or lack there of because he felt that while the Thunder were on a winning streak (all those games with Kevin Durant) no one questioned his shot selection or decisions. He forgot to mention that in most of those games he took less than 20 shots, and never once more than 24. When Durant isn’t playing, Westbrook lets his shooting go wild.
There are two sides to every coin and although that cliche doesn’t work on every situation in life, there is some sense to hearing the other side. Westbrook has complete freedom to do whatever he wants to on the floor, especially when Kevin Durant isn’t playing. Pretty much every possession goes through him, and usually ends with him. Scott Brooks trusts Westbrook (or simply doesn’t have a choice) to make the right decisions on the floor. It doesn’t always happen.
Westbrook did finish with 8 assists, but he shot 10-of-27 from the field, including 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. As with most of the times he gets questioned by local media about his shot selection and selfishness, it was a rather disappointing ending from a player who should know better than to just go into automatic mode and fire away when the game is on the line. Westbrook’s turnover gave Jrue Holiday the chance to assist Anthony Davis and put the Pelicans in the lead, 101-99, with just under three minutes.
Both teams failed to score in a long run of mishaps and mistakes, and above all Westbrook taking bad shot after bad one. He ended up with 0-for-6 from the field on the Thunder’s attempts to tie the game, and except for one possession in which Reggie Jackson took the shot, it was the Russell Westbrook show, albeit with a sad ending for the Thunder. Westbrook is someone with a short memory and rarely understands why do people actually question his shot selection and decision making. It’s off to the next game for him, in which he’s going to shoot 25 shots or more once again. He might make 20 of them, he might miss almost all of the, and it won’t change him.