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Thunder's Russell Westbrook hits a bump in road

BY MIKE BALDWIN Published: March 27, 2009
Sometimes they need an athletic, long guard on them like Thabo.

"It has nothing to do with Russell not playing good defense. Russell is a very good defender.”

The only Thunder player to appear in all 71 games, Westbrook nearly has doubled the number of games he played last season on UCLA’s Final Four team. Has it been as challenging as he anticipated?

"Yes and no,” Westbrook said. "There are a lot more games. It’s competitive at a higher level... I just try to do the same things I’ve been doing.”

During his recent slump, the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in December and February has continued to shoot well at the line. He also compiled 10-assist games against Dallas and Minnesota.

"I’m better off getting my teammates involved, rebounding and doing other things,” Westbrook said. "I’ve just got to keep being aggressive, keep taking shots.”

Westbrook is probably a lock to be named to the All-Rookie team along with Rookie of the Year favorite Derrick Rose, Memphis’ O.J. Mayo and New Jersey’s Brook Lopez. The final spot will be between Minnesota’s Kevin Love, the Clippers’ Eric Gordon and Miami’s Michael Beasley.

"Russell has to get better at (shooting). There’s no way around that,” Brooks said. "I know that. He knows that. He will get better. He works too hard. He’s a gym rat and will put a lot of time into it this summer.”

Russell Westbrook
Games PPG FG % 3% FT % APG TO RPG Stls.
Last 7 13.6 35.1 16.7 86.7 5.1 3.6 5.0 1.0
Season 15.7 40.4 28.7 82.4 5.1 3.4 4.8 1.3
Thunder at Raptors
→When: 6 tonight

→Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto

→TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox 37)

→Radio: WWLS-FM 98.1, WWLS-AM 640

Three things to know:
The Thunder is 6-28 on the road but is 3-4 the past month with wins at Memphis, Sacramento and Minnesota.

Toronto is riding a two-game winning streak but the Raptors are 7-17 since Jan. 30, falling out of playoff contention.

It’s been more than three months since OKC played the Raptors (Dec. 19). In the first game, Desmond Mason led the Thunder with 10 rebounds.

Probable Starters

Thunder (20-51)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Russell Westbrook 6-3 15.7 4.8 5.1
F Kevin Durant 6-9 25.9 6.6 2.9
F x-Thabo Sefolosha 6-7 10.4 5.7 2.3
F Jeff Green 6-9 17.1 7.0 2.0
C Nenad Krstic 7-0 9.7 5.8 0.6
x-OKC stats only
Raptors (26-45)
Pos. Player Ht. Pts. Reb. Ast.
G Jose Calderon 6-3 12.8 3.0 8.6
G Anthony Parker 6-6 10.7 4.0 3.4
F Chris Bosh 6-10 22.6 9.6 2.4
F x-Shawn Marion 6-7 12.9 7.8 2.2
C Andrea Bargnani 7-0 15.2 5.4 1.2
x-Toronto stats only


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