Oklahoma City Thunder: How OKC's players have been developing without Russell Westbrook

How selected Thunder players have fared with and without Russell Westbrook in the lineup.
by Berry Tramel Published: February 16, 2014
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How selected Thunder players have fared with and without Russell Westbrook in the lineup:

KEVIN DURANT

Analysis: Durant is shooting much more without Westbrook — 3 1/2 more shots per game, almost two foul shots more per game, almost two 3-point attempts more per game. Durant's turnovers are up 0.7 per game without Westbrook. But remarkably, Durant's assists are up 0.6. So clearly, Westbrook's absence has meant Durant has the ball in his hands much more than before (and he's responded, with 5.4 additional points per game). Durant's usages (number of possessions ended by shot, foul shot or turnover) have gone up from basically 26 to 33. Those usages will go down when Westbrook returns. But Durant should be able to rest a little more. He has scant time to catch his breath on offense or defense when Westbrook isn't available.

SERGE IBAKA

Analysis: Remember in the Memphis playoff series last May, when Ibaka struggled mightily without Westbrook? That hasn't happened now. Ibaka has been even more productive without Westbrook. His shooting percentage has risen from an already-lofty 53.8 percent, and his scoring is up 1.5 points a game. That's with a usage rate that has barely risen, from 14.5 possessions a game to 15.0.

REGGIE JACKSON

Analysis: Without Westbrook, Jackson's minutes have gone way up. But his efficiency has gone down. Sans Westbrook, Jackson is shooting worse from the field and from 3-point range. His scoring has gone up 1.6 points a game, but he's using almost four additional possessions per game without Westbrook. At times, the weight of running the offense seems to have worn on him. Strange as it sounds, Jackson might benefit most from Westbrook's return.

JEREMY LAMB

Analysis: Lamb's efficiency also has gone down without Westbrook. Lamb is getting more opportunities — 11.3 usages per game, compared to 8.6 with Westbrook — but is scoring only 1.3 more points a game. But Lamb is a virtual rookie; he's been solid and a pleasant surprise, both with and without Westbrook.

THABO SEFOLOSHA

Analysis: Sefolosha has been an underrated component in the Thunder's surge without Westbrook. Perhaps Sefolosha was just in a bad slump earlier in the season, but without Westbrook, Sefolosha has scored 1.9 more points per game, with only 1.3 more usages. Much of that can be attributed to a 3-point percentage that has risen to an acceptable 35.2 without Westbrook. Sefolosha made just 30 percent of his 3-pointers with Westbrook.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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