Oklahoma City Thunder’s star point guard, Russell Westbrook, has always been seen as someone who’s quite hard to coach due to the way that he plays the game.
According to Brian Windhorst, Thunder’s coach Billy Donovan has had to hold back on his offensive sets due to the aggressive nature and demeanor of Westbrook. Windhorst explained exactly what he has heard from league scouts during the latest episode of Hoop Collective on ESPN Radio.
“So here’s the thing about Westbrook. You talk to scouts, they will tell you that essentially Westbrook has no interest in anything that Billy Donovan has to say offensively from the bench. And I’m not saying what they draw up in timeouts and stuff isn’t the case, but what they will say is that Donovan doesn’t even bother making play calls and when Westbrook gets into that mode where he’s just gonna go do what he’s gonna do, there’s really nothing that can be done.
And you could make the argument that you’d have to be stronger with him, or whatever, I mean this is now what his fourth season coaching them? I think you come to just an understanding that when Russell gets into those moods there’s nothing you can really do and Billy has clearly instilled tremendous defensive principles into their team. But they do rank 19th offensively and this is ultimately gonna be an issue for them.”
It certainly hasn’t been Westbrook’s greatest season; the star guard is averaging 23.2 points per game which is a little low when compared to his recent seasons. Having such an explosive guard on the team, the Thunder usually try and avoid playing slow through offense because of the speed of Westbrook.
The part of Westbrook’s game that people seem to criticize at times is how he loses control by always moving too quickly. The former NBA MVP has an incredible work ethic but sometimes he needs to slow down.
An example of this was his extremely poor shooting in the Thunder’s match against the Nuggets last week where Westbrook went 1 of 12 from the three-point line.
Being such an athletic and highly skilled player, Russell Westbrook will always have extremely high value for any team he plays on. Although there are some worries about the Oklahoma City guard, we expect that Westbrook will return to the first-class form in the near future.