Rockets News

Houston Rockets: 3 things Russell Westbrook does better than Chris Paul

By Tevin Williams
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dribbles down the court during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder dribbles down the court during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder gets the rebound against the Miami Heat
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder gets the rebound against the Miami Heat (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images) /

3. Cleaning the glass

One of the biggest weaknesses that plagued Houston last season was their inability to close out defensive possessions by securing rebounds. They were the third worst rebounding team in the league last season, averaging just 42.1 boards per game.

That led to Houston giving up 13.7 second chance points per game, putting them in the bottom half of the league. It also contributed to the Rockets allowing 51.8 points in the paint per game, which was the third most in the NBA.

Obviously, a lot of this is due to a lack of size. Both P.J. Tucker and Eric Gordon are undersized forwards and Kenneth Faried is undersized as a back up center. Tyson Chandler, who was recently signed by the Rockets and stands at 7’1, will certainly help on the glass next season, but Westbrook will also help Houston secure more rebounds.

Russell Westbrook has averaged double digit rebounds in three consecutive seasons and he pulled down a career-high 11.1 rebounds per game last season. While it may be true that some of Westbrook’s teammates did a good job of boxing out to help him pad his rebounding stats, Russ has been an above average glass cleaner over the course of his entire career. This particular skill will also help Houston in the next point.

Next: No. 2

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