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I hate that there is so much incorrect negativity toward Westbrook out there, because they seem to be ignoring all of it. The truth is that there is a problem there that can be fixed, but it's not what most seem to say it is. The only time Westbrook is a problem is the rare games where he tries to get out of rhythm to score points. He plays differently than he normally does. He tries too hard. He needs to be able to recognize when he gets in that desperation mode and counter it by focusing on running plays and spreading the ball to the right people. He finally did this in the second half and the game eventually came to him. Michael Jordan did that a lot. It works. Only force shots when you are in the zone and making them. The rest of the time, play in the rhythm and flow of the game. Westbrook does this 95% of the season and we do extremely well! :)
1 year, 5 months ago on Notes from shootaround: Not time to 'panic'
@OBoymuzik That's going to happen, when players aren't playing well. But, it started with Russell and getting out of rhythm. Getting into rhythm, running plays and passing the ball will establish that rhythm and get players good shots. Players were not making good shots. That will lead to a lot of missed shots. Rhythm and timing of the team comes mainly from Russell and when he gets out of rhythm and players who do get passes, get them from weird angles and odd times and that really messes them up.
You can tell from watching that the rhythm is off. For example, there was one play where someone drove the ball (Harden?) and kicked out to Westbrook. Normally, westbrook would immediately pass around to the other guard who would immediately continue it on to Durant in the corner for a an almost guaranteed 3. But, Westbrook held onto the ball not sure what to do, and after missing his chance of passing to the other guard (Thabo?) had to pass off rhythm straight to Durant who missed a fairly open 3.
1 year, 5 months ago on Russell Westbrook: Mindset
I see two reasons why we lost the last two games. One is Westbrook getting frazzled, but the other is that we aren't running an offense like we did against the Spurs. It's very clear, when our team is moving without the ball, setting screens, and passing the ball, we score. Great things happen. When we don't, bad things happen! Run plays! If we play like a team like we did vs. the Spurs we would run the table on them!
It's not about how many shots he takes. The last two games he HASN'T been playing like he's been playing all year. He was completely out of the rhythm of the team and almost frantically trying to force what wasn't there. He's gotten a lot better about that each season, but he needs to be able to recognize when he's in that state and focus on running the offense instead of trying to score. The great ones like Jordan and even Durant recognize when they are shooting poorly and find other ways to score (like getting to the free throw line, throwing screens, passing, etc) and let the game come to them.A few minutes into the second half of the last game Westbrook did just that and eventually the game came to him! Before that, he may put up some good numbers, but his stalling of the team kills momentum and puts the team in a huge hole. I love Russell, but he HAS to figure that out or he will lose games for us!