E-Balla wrote:2. It's not all Westbrook's fault by any means. Presti, Durant & Brooks all deserve blame also.
3. Re: giving Westbrook props for dealing with KD. That just isn't rational. OKC is vastly worse now than they were last year. Say what you will about Durant, OKC was in much better shape when they were in the KD business.
4. You seriously saying you'd rather be OKC than GS now? I don't think so.
5. So GS is the team with issues now. Got it.
Also, it's fine for you to bring up that I've been a Westbrook skeptic for a long time. I think people could guess that without your help, but it is relevant. Just don't pretend that my issues with Westbrook are based primary in random hate for the guy. He's a Bruin, I"m a Bruin. I was cheering him on when people in OKC had no idea who he was. I"m skeptical of him as a pro because:
1) I don't particularly want volume scoring point guards.
2) I quite wary if they have efficiency issues.
3) I really become concerned when they have issues getting the ball where it needs to go.
4) People don't seem to realize that guards who focus on getting the ball themselves on defense rather than just playing the percentages are inflating their offensive impact at the expense of the team's defense. This isn't necessarily a problem, but people tend to credit players on both sids for this, and thus overrate them.
2. But how is Westbrook to blame at all here? Because KD would rather play with 3 all stars instead of one? Because KD would rather be with a 73 win team than with him? Come on now.
3. Ok and? I didn't say KD wasn't good I said Westbrook had to deal with him. With all the crap he's saying now and how he's acting I'm sure he's been a diva and this isn't a new thing. We just heard nothing about it because WB let him be him. Draymond won't.
4. No one said that and you're purposefully dodging my point which was that KD is as much of an iso player as Westbrook and not a team player which is why Draymond spazzed on him.
5. I'll address this point by point:
1) But you love you some Harden.
2) I mean his scoring efficiency is above average despite being on the 2nd worst shooting team in the league. I wouldn't say he has efficiency issues.
3) How does Westbrook not get the ball where it needs to go? KD averaged 19 shots a game. Kanter is getting more touches than ever before. Heck OKC is top 5 in post ups and Russ isn't a post up guy. He had issues when he was younger but now?
4) TRB% with Russ on the floor is 54%. Its slightly under 50% without him. DRTG with Russ on the floor is 107. DRTG without him is 111.4. Its a scheme to get the ball moving better and it works.[/quote]
2. When Westbrook was drafted onto OKC he had one job: Become Durant's perfect partner. And not only did he not become that, he developed a game where he essentially tried to win the game by himself. Players who try to do everything themselves tend to frustrate those around them. Westbrook's not the first, and he won't be the last.
3. Okay, fair enough.
4. I'm not dodging questions, I"m pointing out how drastic your fixations are here. Any talk about GS having serious problems isn't something that makes much sense to me. The amount of drama coming out of GS is basically 1/10th of what comes out of LeBron's super teams basically every year.
5.1) I don't particularly want a volume scoring point guard but if someone is good enough at scoring and passing it just makes sense. I will say as OKC is currently constructed I wouldn't pretend the Thunder would be better off playing another way, but back when they had Durant, yes, they'd have been better off with a real passing point guard...which incidentally, I think Harden would have done quite well. He's proven he can be a great player without volume scoring, it's just that in Houston, he's been by far the best scorer.
2) Okay let's get one thing straight: Westbrook has at this point proven he's fundamentally incapable of shooting efficiently whether he has girl scouts as teammates or superstars. He doesn't ever get to blame his situation again.
And he's volume scoring in a league where a 5'9" guy is volume scoring with a TS% 8 points higher than him, so you can't say it's in an era where it's hard to figure out what a good or bad shot is.
Westbrook as a scorer takes too many bad shots.
Westbrook as a passer takes consistently chooses not to pass and instead take bad shots.
Westbrook as a defender focuses primarily on getting the ball.
I don't mean to damn the guy. I totally get why he's an MVP candidate and frankly I'm thinking a lot more about him than I am Durant in that context. He is an astonishing specimen with an iron will. But to me he largely has the same issues he came in the league with, those are issues that cause problems with portability, and thus while I think OKC totally could have won the title last year, were I tasked with actually building around Westbrook to win a title hoping to get realistic secondary stars, I wouldn't like my chances.
(To be clear, I also have concerns about Harden because of his defense. I may knock Westbrook's defensive focus, but in the playoffs if he needs to do some serious man defense, he can. Harden's defensive issues will only get worse in the playoffs and frankly it makes it tough for me when I think about MVPs.)
3) Fundamentally there are just a lot of Westbrook possessions that end ugly and didn't seem to seriously try to get Durant involved, and this was the case regardless of the coach. He's never been a gifted passer. He's improved with experience, but he's not one of these guys who knows where everyone on the floor is all the time. He gets tunnel vision, and that's basically precisely what you don't want to have when you have a teammate that is a much better scorer than you are.
4) At this point I don't know if anyone is actually publishing rebounding regressions. Back when they did, Westbrook's defensive rebounding impact was not good. It's possible that by this point Donovan has developed a system so focused on making use of Westbrook being Westbrook that the team's rebounding suffers without him, but when Westbrook first started crashing the defensive boards when Durant was hurt, it wasn't good for the team's defensive rebounding.
Again, to be clear, that doesn't mean it was necessarily a mistake, because it helps start the fast break. The offensive gain may outweigh the defensive cost, and so the only thing to stress here fundamentally is that a point guard who gets a lot of defensive rebounds is something that should be considered as a strategy primarily for the offensive benefit. On defense the way to really get good at defensive rebounding is tried & true:
1) Get big, tall, athletic guys.
2) Have them work together to box out the opponent.
3) Rebounds gained on the interior are typically done by guys already on the interior, as they are the one who aren't simply closest, but can get to the ball without having to create an opening through which an opponent can also jump in.
Rules 2 & 3 are why young bigs typically suck at defensive rebounding even if they are great at offensive rebounding. They may get a lot of defensive boards, but they allow openings which make there be a bigger chance that the ball will bounce to the opponent.