"The ability to contain penetration out front is something we think is important in today’s NBA,” Presti said last June, "and we feel like Russell’s got the potential to be one of the best at that.”
Westbrook has struggled on defense lately against the likes of Utah’s Williams, Chicago’s Derrick Rose and Toronto’s Jose Calderon. But the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Westbrook, many say, has the size, speed, strength and long arms to make him an ideal defensive stopper.
"He shows the quickness that will allow him to lock up pretty much anybody if he stays with it, stays in the weight room and stays humble,” Rondo said. "But it’s really just determination. That’s what separates a lot of the great defenders from the regular defenders.”
Rondo advises Westbrook to continue working on his offensive repertoire rather than relying on his God-given quickness to get him what he wants on the court. A mid-range game, Rondo said, will be the most important aspect Westbrook could add. Rondo praised Westbrook’s effort in Sunday’s game.
"Just work on floaters. Work on the in-between game,” Rondo said. "There’s going to come a point in time where he can’t always go to the rack. He’s going to have to stop and have an in-between game.”
All words Westbrook should live by considering Rondo’s rapid rise from erratic to elite.