When Russell Westbrook is the most explosive athlete in the NBA today and when he drives and dunks at the rim he finishes with authority. He can be counted on for a highlight power dunk nearly every game.
But don’t confuse that with him being a great finisher at the rim. He’s not consistent there. Watch the video above.
In another of his fantastic BBallBreakdown videos (you should subscribe), Coach Nick charted then broke down with video evidence that while Westbrook drives a lot and got to the rim more than ever last season — 37.7 percent of his shots were at the rim, a career high — he’s not a great finisher there.
It also doesn’t mean Westbrook is an inefficient player — he had his most efficient shooting season ever last campaign. He had a career-best 55.4 percent true shooting percentage that is not just above the league average but impressive considering the offensive load he has to carry. He shoots well inside 15 feet when he drives and pulls up. Westbrook gets to the line. He gets buckets.
Beyond that, his passing and decision making have improved over the course of his career. The “he plays out of control” criticism contains little validity anymore. He’s learned to play at the pace his freakish athleticism allows.
He’s one of the five best players in the NBA. He’s going to be an MVP candidate this season. He’s a joy to watch.
But he’s not a consistent finisher at the rim.