3 Ways Russell Westbrook should adapt his game from his OKC days

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Controlling his aggression

Ask any NBA fan to describe Russell Westbrook’s game and you will usually get very similar responses: dynamic, frenetic, energetic, aggressive, chaotic, etc. The former NBA MVP only knows one way to play, and that is as hard as he possibly can. Russ’s energy has become his calling card and the reason he’s one of the most exciting players to watch in the league.

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While the Rockets will certainly benefit from Westbrook’s dominance on the glass and his superior abilities in the open court, his tendency to rush can sometimes lead to turnover issues.

While much of this can be attributed to how often he has the ball, Westbrook was second in the league in turnovers per game at 4.5. First in the league? James Harden at 5.0, which again can be attributed to the same circumstance.

The good thing is, the rest of Harden’s teammates seem to make up for his high turnover rate. Houston still finished sixth-best in the league last season, averaging just 13.3 turnovers per game.

Nevertheless, both of Houston’s star guards will need to improve on their turnover numbers to avoid giving extra possessions up this season.

I expect Mike D’Antoni to give free rein to Westbrook to play as aggressively as he always does, and rightfully so. Russell’s game speaks for itself, and as such should be displayed to its fullest potential. It’s when Westbrook gets out of control that he may need to be reminded that he has a better supporting cast than he’s had in recent years.

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While I expect some early bumps in the road, Westbrook possesses all the skills necessary to take Houston far. If he’s able to adapt quickly, I expect he’ll do just that.