Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook’s dilemma
Russell Westbrook was mostly awful in the first half of Game 2 Thursday night. His numbers: nine points on 2-of-10 shooting, three assists, no turnovers. Westbrook’s final numbers were more presentable: 27 points on 10-of-26 shooting, seven assists, two turnovers.
But let’s look exactly at Westbrook’s plight. He’s in a lineup with two defensive specialists, Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins, plus Serge Ibaka and Kevin Durant. Serge is a solid offensive player but isn’t terribly consistent. That leaves Durant, the league’s greatest offensive player.
But in Game 2, LeBron James took it as a personal challenge to shut down Durant. Nobody can do that for long stretches, but nobody is more equipped to do it in short short stretches than is LeBron. Plus LeBron was coming off a Game 1 in which 1) Durant made a case for world’s greatest player; and 2) Heat coach Erik Spoelstra had the bright idea of NOT putting LeBron on Durant.
So LeBron was sufficiently motivated to mummify Durant, and did. Durant had darn few touches while the Thunder fell behind 18-2.
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