Russell Westbrook has obvious flaws to his game, and despite playing for three teams in three years — which will jump to four this upcoming season — he’s always been a menace on the court.
Westbrook is far from an efficient long-range shooter, and his once consistent free-throw shooting has plummeted into unrecognizable percentages; he hovered around 80% as a shooter from the stripe, but that has plunged into the mid-60s in two of the last four seasons.
Despite all that, the 32-year-old guard has averaged a triple-double in four of the last five seasons, which is just an absurdly staggering stat for anyone to display.
The UCLA product won the MVP award in 2016-17 when he first achieved a full triple-double average campaign; he put up 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists.
Last season with the Washington Wizards, Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds. He didn’t develop a rhythm until the latter months of the season, but when he found momentum, it helped catapult the Wizards into a play-in tournament berth.
Washington eventually clinched the eighth seed in the East but lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
Westbrook’s play had one NBA legend enthralled. Oscar Robertson said Westbrook should’ve won the MVP award last season, via the Knuckleheads podcast:
“He’s got triple-doubles this year and no one even notices…I think that’s totally unfair. I think he should’ve won [MVP] again.”
The MVP award for the year went to Denver Nuggets star center Nikola Jokic, who led the team to the third seed in the West despite missing Jamal Murray and other notable guards due to injury. Though Westbrook had impressive games, Jokic’s accomplishments held more weight.
Robertson does have a point in how Westbrook’s stats get glossed over nowadays because averaging those numbers consistently over the course of multiple seasons isn’t replicated by anyone around the league. It’s just been accepted that Westbrook will go out and get triple-doubles.
Now that Westbrook is with the Los Angeles Lakers, he’ll be playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the third option. He might not be a lock to garner another triple-double season, but if he makes similar impacts in those areas, the Lakers should be a threat to win it all.
Source: Yahoo Sports