As we all know, Russell Westbrook could very well become the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for a whole season, after Oscar Robertson. But I’m here to tell you that Westbrook is definitely not the best player in the game, or even a top 5 player. While this assertion probably goes against what you think or have heard, I encourage you to consider these facts when rating Westbrook as a player overall:
- Westbrook is not as good of a rebounder as his numbers show. Westbrook boosts his rebounding numbers by grabbing “garbage rebounds”. I invented this term to mean when a player gets a defensive rebound that, if he had not gotten, another player on his team would have easily picked up. So in essence, garbage rebounds do not help the team at all, and if you watch Westbrook play, you will see many of his rebounds are defensive and without contention from the other team. Thus, if we believe that garbage rebounds do not really help the team, a possible measure of how good someone is at rebounding would be the number of offensive boards they grab. Westbrook grabs 1.91 offensive rebounds per game, which is good for 41st in the league. This shows that Westbrook is not a better rebounder than a lot of the big men, contrary to what the raw rebounding numbers would tell you. Even though he is still a talented rebounder for a guard, his massive rebounding numbers might not be accurate in describing how good a rebounder he really is.
- Westbrook is a trash defender. If you watch his games, you will know this is true. I’m sure he could be a great defender if he wanted to, because of his height and strength, but he simply does not try.
- He’s inefficient. When I say this, I’m mainly referring to his 3-point shooting. He’s shooting 33 percent from 3 this year, well below average for a guard, and this is compounded by the fact that he shoots more than 5 threes a game. His penchant for shooting 3s, along with often being out of control, gives him a shooting percentage of 43 percent, which is also below average. While he does tend to take a lot of shots, this habit does not always help his team.
- We know for a fact that Russell Westbrook is not a better player than Kevin Durant. When they were both on OKC just a season ago, we all agreed that Durant was better, simply because he was getting more minutes and more shots. It was only when Durant was injured that Westbrook shined, despite OKC being much worse without him. To sum this all up, Durant was the best player on OKC last year, meaning he was better than Westbrook.
Despite the fact that I’ve spent this entire article telling you why Westbrook is overrated, I would like to say that I still think that he is a great player, and I would put him 6th best in the NBA to be exact. I would simply like people to not be so caught up with the fact that he is averaging a triple double, and take everything into account. He might make history this year, so we need to make sure that everyone knows the whole story.