To make things worse, Chris Paul, who went in the opposite direction with Russell Westbrook, played great, elevating the OKC Thunder team at Playoffs.
Last summer, the Houston Rockets thought they had solved the biggest problem in the squad by trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook.
But then a year later, it looked like Houston was just bringing up a bigger problem.
Not long after the Rockets were knocked out of the Playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers, an unnamed NBA head coach made a rather crude but very real comment about Russell Westbrook.
“Houston thought Westbrook would be a good complement to James Harden, but in my opinion, in fact Westbrook can not support anyone well,” the coach shared.
“He needs to be the biggest star but he can’t shoot. He needs the ball to function and cannot play off-ball (move without the ball).
It is difficult for a team to operate with two superstars with maximum contract value but everyone needs the ball to operate.
Maybe it will be possible somewhere. But a spot of Westbrook can completely exchange for two better players instead of playing the way he works in Houston alone.
For most of his time at the Playoffs, Russell Westbrook was pretty out of place.
He averaged 17.9 points with 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists while a 3-point throw rate of 24.2% 3PT. Russ is still enthusiastic and energetic, but the effect he gives is very low.
The reason may be that Westbrook has just returned from months out of injury. But at the Playoffs, where Russell needed to assert his worth, he was unable to meet the expectations of the fans and the coaching staff.
To make things worse, the opposite of Russ, Chris Paul, played great, elevating the Oklahoma City Thunder team at the Playoffs.
There was a time when the duo Westbrook – Harden seemed to be successful and effective.
Before the NBA season was put on hold because of COVID-19, Russell had been on a dizzying spell and at his best all season. He averaged 31.7 points and 8.1 rebounds and 6.8 assists in a streak of 23 games before the season stopped.
However, when the Playoffs season comes, Russell Westbrook is as if “the old horse”, the image makes many fans feel sorry for this All-Star defender.
In the next three seasons, Russell Westbrook still has a $ 133 million contract with the Houston Rockets, joining the NBA’s “toughest” players.
Coach Mike D’Antoni has left the team. Now his takeover will face many problems, one of which will be Westbrook’s future in the squad.