Russell Westbrook Video – Response

I just posted a video about Oklahoma City‘s Point Guard, Russell Westbrook. The video came to me as a youtube suggestion and I though I might check it out. Watching this video was very eye opening to me as both a player, coach and fan of the game. There are so many little things that happen on the court that a box score will never show you. If you do end up watching this video, which I highly recommend you do, you will notice how the coach giving the break down of Westbrook’s play, talks mostly about his decision making, and how it could use a lot of work.

Now, after watching this video, I spent a little bit of time evaluating what I know about Westbrook so far. I thought about him as a player, scorer and athlete. In doing so, I believe that you could make a case for him being the best scoring point guard, and one of if not the most athletic point guard in the league. Then I thought about how this video changed how I see him, and it has. He will always be the highlight real point guard that you see blowing by defenders to then dunk on seven footers but I’m just not sure he can run a team. Being a good scorer, passer and athlete doesn’t make him a good point guard. Of course, that is all based on my interpretation of what a point guard really is. A true point guard should be an extension of the coach. What that means is, they should be the smartest players on the court, they should know what play to run and when, what passes have the best chance of getting through, and ultimately being able to get everyone involved in the offense. Point guards who score a lot of points, in my mind, are not true point guards. Russ is one of those players. Yes, he is an excellent ball handler and scorer, his passing is above average and he is quick but that doesn’t mean he should run the show. For my money, Rajon Rondo is the best true point guard in the NBA. Rondo is able to make good decision, while getting his teammates involved and scoring when he is needed. He is also an excellent defender and is constantly improving. Rondo has the ability like only few do, to control an entire basketball game.

All in all, Westbrook is an excellent player, don’t get me wrong, and everyone has bad games, this could have been one of them. And at the end of the day, he has taken his team to the NBA finals, what more can you ask from the kid?