Russell Westbrook set another NBA triple-double record Wednesday night. But NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon offered a bit of criticism after the Oklahoma City Thunder star’s exploits failed to spark a victory over the Houston Rockets.
“With his poise and control, his game is on a whole different level. He’s a tremendous talent, but as far as the game, he was trying to do too much,” Olajuwon told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.
The numbers illustrate Olajuwon’s point perfectly. While his overall final stats look fantastic — 51 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists and four steals — Westbrook took 43 shots Wednesday night, 18 of which came in the fourth quarter.
Russell Westbrook had a 66.2 percent usage rate in the fourth quarter. He took 18 of the Thunder's 30 shots in the period.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) April 20, 2017
After the game, the star point guard realized the error of his ways.
“I’ve got to do a better job of finding my guys and trusting in them, especially when things aren’t going our way late in games,” Westbrook said.
Indeed, already in an 0-2 hole against Houston, the Thunder are in danger of being swept right out of the playoffs unless they can play better as a unit. Westbrook’s exploits this season had everyone watching with mouths agape. His individual performance this year was historic, but it didn’t necessarily result in a better team game for OKC.
We’ll see if Westbrook can mend his ways. He’s been a man on a mission all year, ever since Kevin Durant chose to abandon him for the Golden State Warriors. But his mission is in danger of utter failure, and he will never get a chance to stick it to his former playing partner if things keep going the way they’ve gone so far.