Oklahoma City Thunder Stat Monkey Brief: Thunder/Kings (1/25/13)
The Thunder's West Coast road trip gets a little easier tonight courtesy of the Kings. The loss to the Warriors was ugly, particularly in the fourth quarter, but Sacramento should treat them more kindly. A key reason the Thunder lost to Golden State was the abominable play of Russell Westbrook. The star point guard is a bit of an enigma, usually dazzling Thunder fans, but on occasion leaving them heartbroken.
Good Russell, Bad Russell
At his best, Russell Westbrook is a dynamic player capable of playing Pippen to Durant's Jordan, Bob Cousy to his Bill Russell.
But there is another version of Westbrook, one that his critics will gleefully point out is fully capable of torpedoing the Thunder. In the loss to the Warriors, for example, Westbrook went 3-16 and missed all five three pointers he shot.
The good news for Oklahoma City fans is that Westbrook is more often than not an invaluable asset to his team. He is seventh in the NBA with 22.7 points per game, fifth with 8.1 assists per game and sixth with 1.9 steals per game. With those numbers, he is one of the best all around point guards in the game.
But when Westbrook has the occasional off night, his team often suffers. In wins, he shoots 44.5 percent from the field. In losses he only manages to shoot 33.8 percent. Eight times this season he has shot below .300 in a game. The Thunder have lost five of those games. His three point shooting is the most common problem, as his three point percentage drops from .387 in wins to .212 in losses.