Russel Westbrook was an impure point guard — shoot first, pass second. Which doesn’t fly when the you have two-time league scoring champion Kevin Durant on your team. You want to get him the rock.
That was the conventional wisdom after the Thunder were eliminated from the playoffs. Conventional wisdom is there for a reason.
Westbrook isn’t accepting your blame. Not at all. Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears has the story:
“I refuse to let myself do that,” Westbrook told Yahoo! Sports. “I’ve been working too hard to get to the position we were in last season to worry about anything somebody else was saying…
My job is not to prove myself to whomever it is that is talking about this team,” Westbrook said. “It’s to help my team and organization get better. Everyone has their own opinion, and once someone says something they just roll with it. And that’s how it went.”
Westbrook probably should have looked to pass a little bit more than he did in last year’s playoffs, but his teammates weren’t exactly putting themselves in the best position (we may love Durant, but he needs to work on how to come off a screen properly and get open). Sometimes you just have to trust your superstars to make decisions and put up a lot of shots, for better or for worse.
Last season, Westbrook established that he is a superstar in today’s NBA. It’s easy to criticize his shooting and decision-making in last year’s playoffs, but Westbrook will more than likely make up for his play in the 2011 playoffs in many future postseasons to come if he continues to work on his game and work with his teammates.