Thunder: Another look at Westbrook’s game
Russell Westbrook played poorly in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. I think we can agree. Westbrook had 20 points thanks to 14-of-18 foul shooting, but he was 3-of-15 shooting, he had just three assists, four turnovers, three rebounds.
Not good. But Westbrook did the one thing the Mavericks fear most. Westbrook penetrated the paint. He didn’t finish, more on that later, but Westbrook drew plenty of fouls. Dallas fouled Westbrook nine times in situations that sent him to the foul line.
That’s exactly what the Thunder needs. What the Thunder has to have. And the Mavericks expressed serious concern about it.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle appears to be a negative nellie no matter how the Mavs play. Carlisle bemoaned the Mavs grabbing only seven of the 20 loose balls his staff counted during the game. And Carlisle said, “We have to defend better.”
Of Westbrook, Carlisle said “we gameplan a lot for him. Coming back Game 2, we know he’s going to play better. He was aggressive both in transition and in pick-and-rolls. We talked a lot today (Wednesday) about how to keep them off the free-throw line. We allowed penetration we need to take away.”
The Mavericks seemed to be ill-equipped to deal with Westbrook. Dallas point guards are Jason Kidd and J.J. Barea, who athletically can’t stay with Westbrook. The Mavs used DeShawn Stevenson on Westbrook to start the game, which helped. But Westbrook still got inside. The trouble is, center Tyson Chandler is a shot-blocker who can bother a guard infiltrating the paint. In three regular-season games, Westbrook did not play well against Dallas — averaged just 14.3 points and shot 31.8 percent from the field.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 16150OKC Central: Architectural "Worsts"
- 14605Oklahoma storms: Profile of Life: Megan and Case Futrell
- 10995Oklahoma baseball: Joe Simpson 'thrilled' that Sunny Golloway left OU
- 9399Was Special Treatment Given in Oklahoma Vice Mayor DUI Traffic Stop?
- 9121'Firehouse' in Oklahoma City's Deep Deuce is set to become new home
- 8921Classen School of Advanced Studies valedictorian disappears while hiking with family in Ecuador
- 7695Live blog: "The Voice" Season 4 live finale
- 7584Norman man threatens Oklahoma Gov. Fallin's 'child' and local sheriff in emails
- 7477Two teacher programs at Oklahoma universities called ineffective
- 7078Red meat might be delicious, but not as nutritious
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients