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Thunder insider: This night, Russell Westbrook was the main man

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: March 27, 2011 at 11:43 pm •  Published: March 27, 2011

“He has a tremendous amount of pride and confidence in his game,” Brooks said. “Give him credit. He made the one early and that gave him confidence. He stepped up and made a big shot.”

Which brings us to a pertinent question.

Who should be closing games for the Thunder?

The long-held belief has been Durant, who still is and will continue to be the lead man of this marching band no matter how many games Westbrook puts away. But with Durant's well-documented struggles in last-second spots, and Westbrook's emergence with the game on the line, it's a question the Thunder has to find an answer to with the playoffs looming. Only 10 regular season games remain.

The beauty of this Thunder team is that it has two players who are capable of being closers. And there doesn't seem to be any misunderstandings between them.

“We trust each other,” Durant said. “I think that's the best thing ... It's a long season. I'm not going to close the game out every game. He knows what he has to do. He's an All-Star now.”

Westbrook says, and has shown, he'll willing defer to Durant if he's got it going. And Durant insists he doesn't mind stepping aside if he doesn't.

“Whoever's open,” Westbrook said. “If they're doubling KD, I'll probably try to make a shot for myself or try to get the ball back to him one way or another. But if not, I try to get the best shot possible.”

Sometimes, the two might alternate, as they have in the past down the stretch.

For now, the important thing is both Batman and Robin, whichever one is which in crunch time, is on the same page.

“We got to live with it if I miss a shot or if he misses a shot because we're the main guys,” Durant said.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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