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Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook needs to start shooting well on consistent basis

OKC’s star guard shot the basketball as well as he has all season. And he’s got to start somewhere if he is to break out of his surprising shooting slump.

By Darnell Mayberry Published: December 31, 2012

It’s also impossible to ignore Westbrook’s 3-point shooting. He’s connecting on a career-high 34.2 percent from downtown, but that clip still is below average accuracy. Yet Westbrook is launching a staggering 4.1 3-pointers per game, an enormous amount for a player who coming into this season was a career 29 percent 3-point shooter.

The overly simplistic, easier-said-than-done solution to Westbrook’s shooting struggles is two-fold: finish better and take better shots.

But it’s anyone’s guess as to how bruised and battered Westbrook is, and how his nicks have negated his scoring efficiency. He doesn’t discuss his injuries. What we do know is Westbrook has managed to continue to be effective even while dealing with a left wrist injury for the last two weeks and knee pain for God knows how long.

Westbrook currently is averaging career highs in rebounding (5.2), assists (8.7) and steals (2.1) while also decreasing his turnover average from the past two seasons.

Those contributions are sustaining the Thunder despite Westbrook’s shooting slump.

“I just try to make an impact on the game every night,” Westbrook said. “Maybe it’s not scoring. Maybe it’s rebounding. Maybe it’s passing. Maybe it’s defending.

“I just stay aggressive throughout the whole game. Sometimes shots are going to fall and sometimes they’re not. But I know if I continue to play the right way offensively and defensively something good is going to happen.”

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