Why they should
For starters, Westbrook is all hustle, which the Rockets need. He averaged the fourth most minutes per game with 36 minutes. In addition, he averaged the fifth-most defensive rebounds in the league, with 9.6 rebounds per game. By comparison, the Rockets leading defensive rebounder was Clint Capela, who averaged 8.2 rebounds per night. Westbrook is the only guard to rank in the top 15 of defensive rebounds per night.
Another reason is that Westbrook is actually a really good defender by the numbers. He ranked 5th in steals per night, averaging 1.9. In addition, his defensive win shares ranked fourth in the league and ahead of Defensive Player of the Year finalist Paul George.
Furthermore, his defensive box plus minus ranked 4th in the league, which was ahead of Anthony Davis. This measures the defensive points per possession a player contributed on per 100 possessions. He isn’t the greatest defender, but he tries hard on that end, too.
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