Russell Westbrook has been finishing the 2020-21 NBA season strong, prompting comparisons to Sixers legend Allen Iverson on talk shows.
The Brody is one of the most unique athletes in league history. One only has to tune into a Wizards game to understand the difference between a normal NBA offense and one led by Russ.
No point guard in league history has consistently troubled team defenses in transition. Westbrook can grab the defensive board and still run the fast break as either the facilitator or the finisher, going coast to coast.
Russ now leads the league’s assists charts for the 3rd time in the last 4 seasons. It’s becoming more and more difficult to exclude from the all-time point guard conversations and comparisons.
Now, Allen Iverson fit the shooting guard prototype a lot better than that of a playmaker. He did actually orchestrate the Sixers’ offense, but more of his actions finished in shots than those of Westbrook.
Thus, we cannot compare the two strictly in the point guard sense. However, what we can compare is the kind of impact both of them have had on their teams.
Russell Westbrook gets slandered despite being more efficient than Allen Iverson
The Brody was the subject of all sorts of memes at the start of this year. Washington was in the doldrums, sporting a .200 record for much of the first 2 months. But he’s now turned the conversation around after recovering fully from a quad injury.
While Russ still takes too many 3-pointers given his inefficient numbers, this isn’t a make-or-break aspect of his play. Westbrook isn’t asked to be the kind of scorer that Allen Iverson had the responsibility of being.
Random fun fact: Russell Westbrook is more efficient than Allen Iverson.
He has a higher career FG%, FT%, EFG%, TS%, and Mid range shooting % than Allen Iverson.
They are tied for 3P% at 31%. pic.twitter.com/zyQlpUYjOk
— ⚡️ (@RUSSREBORN) May 1, 2021
Now, it’s true that AI was more efficient relative to his era and the shot types generated at that time. But that doesn’t mean that Russ is necessarily forcing bad shots and bringing his percentages down.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of putting Russ’s and AI’s shooting splits in the context of the teams they played in. Westbrook is efficient at most of the actions that lead to him taking a shot. The few 3-pointers that he does take have come in the flow of the offense, unlike the bone-headed pull-up 3-pointers that most basketball fans detest seeing from players with lower skill levels.