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Another potential weapon for Russell Westbrook: The floater

Most of the NBA's best point guards have a floater in their arsenal. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook doesn't have a consistent floater, but adding one could make him even more of a threat.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 13, 2011

Here's an idea for Russell Westbrook.

Develop a floater.

Most of the NBA's best point guards have that shot in their arsenal. Steve Nash. Rajon Rondo. Chris Paul. Tony Parker.

Westbrook should be next.

“Have you seen his floater?” Thunder coach Scott Brooks exclaimed, almost appalled at the thought. “I've seen it three times. It's not pretty.”

In time, though, that added dimension could make one of the game's most explosive point guards even more effective.

Westbrook, however, has yet to buy into that belief.

“That's not my focus,” said Westbrook, reasoning that he gets his shot off just fine without owning a floater. “Why would I shoot a floater when I can dunk on you?”

No holes in that theory.

But it becomes much more difficult to get to the basket in the playoffs. In the postseason, the pace of the game slows and offensive execution is dependent on how well a team runs its half-court sets.

Westbrook's penchant for playing out of control at times could also be improved with a high-arching floater from the paint in his back pocket.

Westbrook leads the league in turnovers with 249. That's 20 more than second-placed LeBron James. According to, 36 of Westbrook's turnovers are offensive fouls. And many of those have come as a result of Westbrook charging down the lane without a specific plan, as he did Friday night against Detroit with 1:46 remaining and the Thunder clinging to a nine-point lead.

“We'll get him one this summer,” insists backup point guard Eric Maynor, who possesses one of the most consistent floaters in the league and has worked with Westbrook on his in practices. “Then he won't get charges. It'd be dangerous for everybody.”

After showing signs of growth last season, Westbrook's midrange game has now developed to the point it is now a consistent threat. He's shooting a career-high 37.5 percent from 10 to 15 feet, according to But between three and nine feet, Westbrook is finishing at a career-low 28.7 percent.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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