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OKC Thunder: Is this the best we've ever seen Russell Westbrook?

Teammate Kevin Durant said: “Triple-double in three quarters. That speaks for itself.”
by Anthony Slater Published: December 26, 2013

/articleid/3918185/1/pictures/2302869">Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook looks to pass during the second half of Thunder's NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, in New York. The Thunder won 123-94. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook looks to pass during the second half of Thunder's NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, in New York. The Thunder won 123-94. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

But none of it has been near as impressive, or telling, as his recent rebounding tear.

Want an indication that his knee is fine and athleticism is back and maybe better than ever? Look at the numbers.

In the last 10 games, he leads the Thunder in rebounds, grabbing them at a higher clip than Serge Ibaka and Durant, two plus-level interior forces who are seven inches taller and rebounding at career rates this season.

“He's just a freak athlete,” Durant said. “He's 6-3, big, strong. He's a great rebounder for his position.”

Actually, he's the best. And it's not close. Westbrook has led point guards in rebounding each of the past three years. And at a career-high 6.0 this year, he's on pace to smash that category again. Tyreke Evans is the next closest at 4.8.

“He gets it and we go,” Lamb said of the Thunder's expedited fastbreak. “No need for the outlet pass.”

And when put up against some of the league's best in that category, he still holds his own.

According to the NBA's innovative SportVu database, Westbrook grabs 70.3 percent of rebounds he has a chance of capturing. That's sixth highest in the league among players with at least six per game. Those ahead of him include: Durant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan. All are 6-foot-8 or taller.

Pretty good company for a point guard.

Russell Westbrook: Officially back, maybe better than ever.

by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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