Although Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas is known for improving players and building rapport with superstars, will he be able to do the same for Russell Westbrook?
New Houston Rockets head coach Stephen Silas has a great track record in player development, as he scouted for the Washington Wizards in 2005-2006, which is one of the many jobs he’s held in the league. All in all, Silas has worked with LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kemba Walker, and Luka Doncic.
Silas was successful with each of those players he worked with, in addition to the teams he’s coached. Considering his proven success with superstars it’s worth wondering whether can Silas do the same thing with Russell Westbrook.
As the Houston Rockets got dismantled in five games by the 2020 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers, Westbrook took a ton of criticism, in part because of his poor shooting. Westbrook shot 24 percent from the perimeter, as the Lakers left him wide-open.
During the regular season, Westbrook shot a lower percentage from the perimeter but performed better inside of it. Westbrook shot 48 percent inside the perimeter in the regular season, including 51 percent during the playoffs, which is much better.
The Lakers’ coaching staff understood the philosophy of Westbrook playing inside of the 3-point arc so, they kept him above it. Their zone defensive scheme limited Westbrook’s attack towards the basket, including jump-shots.
The Lakers caused Westbrook to turn the ball over more and it affected him throughout the series. Westbrook had a difficult time helping James Harden offensively because of his poor shooting.
Silas could become resourceful for Westbrook, as he helped develop Curry with the Golden State Warriors in 2010. Silas is also known to work well and build great relationships with players.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith recently emphasized the importance of the Rockets identifying the right coach, which he described as someone that has the ability to get inside the mind of Westbrook, which will in turn help him understand the game more. Silas is known to be passionate, poised, well-mannered, and a great communicator.
Stephen Silas was instrumental to the improvement that made Jeremy Lamb a key part of the Hornets' rotation. Ultimately, that earned Lamb a big contract with the Indiana Pacers.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) October 28, 2020
Hopefully, Silas creates more movement for the Rockets offense, as it could make it easier for Westbrook to find better shots. Silas’s offense could lessen Harden’s dribbling, which can allow Westbrook to be more effective.
With Westbrook being quick and athletic, he will be a blur in Silas’ offense because it would allow him to take less 3-point shots.
The Houston sports world waits patiently to see the effect of Silas on Westbrook. Hopefully Silas can help with Westbrook’s shot.