OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook's report card

by Anthony Slater Published: June 10, 2014
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photo -  Russell Westbrook speaks during exit interviews with the media for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the team's practice facility in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 1, 2014. The Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Russell Westbrook speaks during exit interviews with the media for the Oklahoma City Thunder at the team's practice facility in Oklahoma City, Sunday, June 1, 2014. The Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

With great ability comes great responsibility. Westbrook’s ceiling is so high on this end, his top-level effort so disruptive to opponents, that once you’ve seen it, it’s hard not to criticize him when it’s lacking. Coming out of college, he was known as a defensive stopper. And at times, including most of the Spurs series, he shows it. But for a guy who says the All-Defensive Team is one of his biggest goals, it’s something that must be more consistent.

Maturity: B-

He still has his immature bouts with the media, sniping at reasonable questions and shooting glaring, distasteful looks. He still whines a bit too much toward referees during frustrating games. But overall, Westbrook showed plenty of on-court maturity this past season. The injury troubles seemed to humble him a bit. He’s more receptive to suggestions from teammates, channels his energy in better ways, plays with more control more frequently. Still a pain to deal with after games, Westbrook has never been more a pain for opponents to deal with during games. And part of that is because, on the court, he seems to be growing up.


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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