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It’s all going to be ok. Or is it? It is! Or is it? It is, I think. Maybe.
You asked for action?
You got action!
You asked for big time moves?
You asked for Russell Westbrook?
That is very strange indeed.
Anyone who hangs around TDS knows I’m not Westbrook’s biggest fan. Nor am I his biggest detractor around here. I’ve mostly described him as “Point Guard Dwight Howard”, in that I thought a decline in athleticism could lead to his game falling apart. He’s at an age where that decline usually begins, and many claim to have seen it (many includes me) in Westbrook’s game last season.
I don’t think he’s a terrible human being, a scourge on basketball, or anything other than an odd and inefficient player with an appalling contract.
That said, I predict the Rockets are in for a “Honeymoon Season” with Westbrook. Here’s why I think so:
He’s no longer in OKC. Two stars have left him. He asked for a way out, to his friend, James Harden’s team (and it is, no question, James Harden’s team). He got it. He’s going to be on his best behavior. He’s going to blame any basketball shortcomings on the situation in OKC, and he’s going to try to mend them.
If that’s the case, and the Rockets get a “Honeymoon with Russell” then he still has the ability to become the best supporting player in the NBA. His game is made for it, rather than being the lead dog.
Think about it. If you ask the question “What would make Westbrook an utterly terrifying NBA player?” to me the answer looks something like this:
He runs the PNR most of the time, with a very athletic PNR partner.
He drives hard to the basket, but kicks out to a whole bunch of good shooter, spaced around the floor.
He absolutely punishes anyone who dares to double team with drives.
He makes defending a priority.
He continues to rebound at a PF rate, and no stolen boards.
only mostly (who am I kidding?) takes good shots.
He moves off the ball, like a SG sometimes. Just sometimes. Rather than just standing there, like Harden does, mostly, when he doesn’t have the ball.
I believe there’s a path. I believe the two men, Harden and Westbrook, will bust their asses proving their partnership works. I believe the Rockets remain genuinely dangerous, and absent that, entertaining.
So for tonight, here’s what I am proposing. Let me know your concerns, or questions, if you’re still out there. We’ll try to work through this. Together. Like James Harden and Russell Westbrook are together.
Read more at The Dream Shake.