Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook still trying to find his shot


Just having Russell Westbrook back on the court has opened up the Thunder offense — they are three points per 100 possessions better in those last 10 games, the Thunder are shooting better (four percentage points better from three) and most importantly they are 8-2 as a team. That includes wins over the Spurs and Clippers.

All that despite the fact Westbrook has not found his shot. At all.

He is shooting 38.8 percent overall this season and 29.3 percent from three. After missing all of training camp and the start of the season (not to mention last playoffs) trying to recover from surgery to repair a torn meniscus, she has not been able to shake off the rust.

Here is what he told the Oklahoman about his early season struggles.

“It’s going to take time,” Westbrook said. “Your legs got to get stronger, your body, all your muscles got to get used to working and getting back going.”

Here are two reasons Thunder fans shouldn’t worry (and maybe the rest of the league should).

First, he started slow last season even when healthy — he shot an identical 38.8 percent through 10 games last season, as noted in the Oklahoman piece.

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Second, look at the shots he is missing.


Westbrook is not finishing well at the rim — and that will change. He’s shooting just 41.8 percent on shots within 8 feet, break it down further and he’s shooting 39.1 percent in the paint. As he gets used to playing against the rim protectors in the NBA, as he gets used to trusting his athleticism to finish in those situations, his shooting percentage will go up close to the rim. As will his scoring numbers.

Just the threat of Westbrook has improved the Thunder offense. Wait until he starts knocking down shots.

Wizards’ Alan Anderson undergoes another left ankle surgery

Brooklyn Nets v Atlanta Hawks - Game Five
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Alan Anderson had surgery last May on his left ankle to remove some bone spurs. This wasn’t seen as anything major, so the Washington Wizards signed him to a deal and are counting on him to bring some versatility and depth to their wings.

However, that same ankle has bothered him since the opening of training camp and on Tuesday the Wizards announced that he had undergone another surgery to “remove a small bony fragment in his left ankle.”

There is no timetable for his return.

The Wizards liked Anderson because of his shooting and versatility — he can play the two, three or four depending on the lineup. The Wizards are counting on a combination of Otto Porter, Jared Dudley, and Anderson to fill the void left by Paul Pierce.

But they are going to have to wait a little while for Anderson to join the party.

Kevin Garnett welcomed Bobby Portis to NBA with veteran trash talk

Kevin Garnett
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Kevin Garnett is as good a trash talker as there is in the NBA right now. He’s one of the games’ legendary talkers.

And he welcomed Bulls rookie Bobby Portis to the NBA in his own special way during Saturday’s Chicago/Minnesota preseason game. From Vincent Goodwill of

Beautiful use of the Honey Nut Cheerios reference.

Hoiberg was a teammate of KG’s back in Minnesota from 2003-2005. Hoiberg did nothing but praise Garnett after the game. He’s probably good with KG pushing Portis.

Watch out for Portis this season, he’s going to show he shouldn’t have fallen so far down the board.