Royal Ivey: “He takes a lot of scrutiny, but he handles it well. He's a great player. Emotionally, he's high-energy. Those numbers, it's remarkable to be in that company and it's only going to get better once he settles into his role because he has a world of talent. His will to win, that's what I love about him. He's a competitor, man. I put him with the higher-echelon point guards in the league.”
When Westbrook reached the scoring plateau, there was no stoppage in play, nor was an announcement made to the sellout crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena — nor should there have been, because Westbrook's career numbers are only going to get bigger.
For a player who supposedly does so many things poorly, Westbrook apparently can play a little bit of ball.
“He knows how to play a lot of ball,” Perkins said. “He also knows how to handle the criticism. I think he bounces back well every time he hears stuff. He's a strong-minded kid. The stuff he has to go through on a daily basis and he's still putting up numbers. He work hard, man. He definitely deserves it. He's a great guy, too.”
Westbrook can fill up a stat sheet as well as any guard who has ever played.
“Russell's a dynamic player,” Brooks said.
Westbrook is so dynamic, Brooks asks him to improve all facets of his game, not just certain areas.
“He's one of the few guys that you can challenge him in all areas – rebounding, defending, pick-and-rolls, post-ups, passing, shooting – and he's improved in a lot of areas. With some guys you can say, ‘Hey, I just need you to shoot the ball better, because you can't do anything else (smiling).'”
As a rookie, Westbrook averaged 15.3 points and shot 39.8 percent from the field. This season, he is scoring 22.6 points and shooting 46.8 percent, thanks to an improved touch from 16-23 feet.
“e can do everything, man,” Ivey said. “He's a stat-stuffer.”