How can Harden and Westbrook thrive together on the court?

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How can Harden and Westbrook thrive together on the court? 

Post#1 » by CoreyVillains » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:03 am

Hey all, thought I’d drop by to post a few clips I cut up of Russ and Harden playing together in OKC. I am a believer that the fit will work out and I believe you got better. Will it translate to a title, I don’t know, but I think you got better.

In the first clip we get to take a look at Harden initiating the set off a screen(s) with Russ cutting off ball. OKC ran this set a lot to get Russ shots at the rim when the weakside defense fell asleep.

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We again, see Harden initiating this next set. Harden calls for a screen from the big but dishes to Russ who runs a catch and go. The big comes up with the screener so the weakside help has to cover the paint. Russ is attacking with a head of steam here and makes an easy read for the corner three. The second part of the vid we see the same set but now Harden’s man realizes he has to rotate to the corner to contest the three. Thabo makes an easy extra pass and Harden gets a wide open three.

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This next set we see Russ run point. Russ puts so much pressure on the defense just having the ball in his hands, that Mike Miller helps all the way to the nail, to prevent Russ from getting into the paint. Harden trails here and Russ dishes to him on the wing for an open catch and shoot 3 that Miller can’t recover to in time.

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Here we get to see Harden getting the ball off movement. Harden sets a blind screen for Ibaka and then cuts to the top of the key to receive the ball from Russ. Russ has the attention of the defense on the wing so when Harden gets the ball he can attack an out of sync defense. Now in Houston’s offense, Ibaka would have flattened out to the corner and Capella would actually finish the play with a more open paint.

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Finally, we see Russ initiate again coming off a double screen. Harden then comes off those two screens to get the ball in position to attack into his strong side. He’s able to get right into the teeth of the defense and make a easy dump off to the big. Again, Capella/Chandler finishes the play as they are much more athletic finishers. He’d also have the option to hit the strong corner for an open 3.

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Re: How can Harden and Westbrook thrive together on the court? 

Post#2 » by ken6199 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:30 am

We were really looking like a 60W team after ASB last season, yet we struggled against the Warriors. Why? Paul's usage 22.5% in RS, 22.7% in PS; but his AST% 39.3% in RS to 25% in PS. That 14.3% drop in AST% with the same usage, that's why.

With Westbrook, I believe we will have a more high variance regular season. It can be good, it can be bad. Once we are in the post season, 2020 Westbrook will give us a higher ceiling than 2020 Paul for sure, and that could be the difference between WCF and the finals.
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