OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook's rebounding prowess a problem for Clippers

“I don’t think I’ve ever come into a series where my biggest fear is point guard rebounding,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I don’t think I’ve ever said that in my life. Yet in this series, the number one thing on the board as far as our team was Westbrook rebounding.”
by Anthony Slater Published: May 12, 2014

But it also has its drawbacks. Westbrook’s aggressiveness can occasionally lead to precarious situations for his teammates, having to adjust their transition defense with a point guard who so actively crashes the offensive glass.

“There’s certain times where he has to get back,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

But more often than not, Westbrook’s rebounding is a boost for the Thunder and a nightmare for opponents.

TURNOVER PROBLEMS

Turnover disparity has been an undertold development but key factor in the Thunder’s collapse on Sunday afternoon and its inability to put away the Clippers in this series.

OKC has committed 63 turnovers. L.A. has only committed 37. The Thunder has lost the turnover battle in all four games.

Of the eight teams remaining in the playoffs, the Thunder is committing the most turnovers (15.7 per game) and causing the fewest (10.5).

GETTING CHIPPY?

This season, the Thunder and Clippers were one and two in technical fouls in the NBA.

Through four games, the mouthy and physical matchup hasn’t disappointed – with 15 combined technicals between the teams. There’s been a ton of complaining and a bunch of minor confrontations, but Thunder players said it hasn’t been any chippier than usual

“Nah, it’s a typical game,” Kevin Durant said. “Both teams physical, both teams pushing, grabbing, holding. It’s a part of the game, gotta play through it.”

Westbrook said: “There's a lot of flopping going on, I can tell you that much. If that's what you call chippiness."

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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