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 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).
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."