The Houston Rockets Can Only Benefit from a Determined Westbrook
The underlying truth of why Westbrook might be getting overlooked is the Rockets are an inconsistent team and this time around, their inconsistency is controlled by how Westbrook decides to play the game.
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When he’s taking low-percentage shots, turning the ball over and attempting highly-contested shots early in the shot clock, the Rockets bow down to the competition because it makes them solely dependent on Harden.
Given that Westbrook is in Houston to take some pressure off of Harden, that’s less than ideal.
But when Westbrook is making intelligent passes, crashing the boards and finding efficient ways to score without forcing his shots, the Rockets can play at a level they were playing at before the season’s shutdown.
That’s when Westbrook looks like a top 10 player in the NBA.
Westbrook’s ranking as the 22nd-best player in the NBA is too low and disrespectful, but his tenacity and vicious mentality will help give him more motivation and more of a reason to play even harder in the league’s restart.
As the season resumes, look for Russell to set out to prove to the media, the fans and the league that he’s ready, willing and able to be the best version of himself in hopes of helping elevate the Rockets to their first NBA title since 1995.