Russell Westbrook has been shooting the ball terribly throughout these Playoffs. Here we look at his stats and what is wrong with the Rockets star.
It’s no secret that Russell Westbrook is a below average shooter from beyond the arc. Throughout his career, Westbrook has relied on his innate athleticism to help elevate his game above the rest of the league.
Russell Westbrook is one of, if not the most, athletic point guards the NBA has ever witnessed. His ability to drive to the rim with that explosive first step is second to none. However, he has never truly been a ‘winning player’. That may be due to his lack of a jumper.
Do the Houston Rockets need Russell Westbrook to be a good shooter, to win?
Head Coach, Mike D’Antoni along with General Manager Daryl Morey are both known to be very analytically minded. To them, the 3 point shot is the most efficient and effective way to score points. This however, is not one of Russell Westbrook’s strong suits.
The 2017 MVP has shot over 50% from the field once in these Playoffs. He is shooting an abysmal 16.7% from 3 in the Playoffs, and teams are starting to let him shoot wide open ones, which he is often times missing as well.
His shooting mechanics seem to be off, as he is not getting that entire drive going through his legs. The entire motion isn’t that smooth and Russ is really short on confidence; thereby increasing his shooting woes.
Rockets would want to work on his shooting motion right from when he picks up the ball. And they’ll need to rectify that soon, else, Lakers will keep leaving him open on the 3 point line and not allow him to drive to the rim.
Russell Westbrook this postseason
12/42 on jumpers (28.6%)
3/18 on 3-pointers (16.7%)
7/15 on free throws (46.7%)
Lakers just not even guarding him pic.twitter.com/4BqlYF6T1S
— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) September 7, 2020
The Houston Rockets play 5-out on offense, clearing the lane for Westbrook to drive in with authority for a finish at the rim or to kick the ball out to an open shooter on the perimeter.
This has also not been working out too well as LeBron James blocked his layup attempt into the stands.
— NBA do Povo 🏀🇧🇷 #NBAPlayoffs (@NBAdoPovo) September 7, 2020
For the Rockets to win, Westbrook needs to take less jumpers, be able to knock down wide open ones, and relentlessly attack the basket.
Will Russell Westbrook bounce back?
The Rockets All Star acknowledged his 10 point game, saying, “I need to watch more film.”
Rockets’ Russell Westbrook (4-15 shooting, 7 turnovers, -14 in Game 2 loss to Lakers): “Right now I’m just running around. I’ve got to look at film and figure out how to be effective.” pic.twitter.com/PN71FOwUSB
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 7, 2020
Westbrook has been known to disappear frequently in pivotal Playoff games so it will be interesting to see how the Russell Westbrook and the Rockets adjust to win Game 3.