Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has a style of play that makes him the reigning NBA MVP. But speaking on his Lowe Post Podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe noted that it doesn’t exactly generate a lot of fear from the Golden State Warriors, the league’s reigning champions.
“Jack McCallum’s new book about the Warriors has a bunch of kind of anonymous Warriors talking about Russ and how they don’t fear Russ. How KD left partly cause of Russ. How Russ’s style of play is so easy for them to defend it’s like cake to them,” Lowe said, as transcribed by Chris Barnewall of CBS Sports. “I’ve talked to the Warriors about his kind of stuff. What’s in Jack’s book is 100 percent what they say when you ask them about Russ.”
Objectively, these comments are backed up by the numbers.
For the 2016-17 season, Westbrook famously averaged a triple-double, averaging 31.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.7 rebounds while shooting at 42.5 percent from the field, 34.3 on threes, and 84.5 from the free throw line. Against Golden State, he averaged 27.3 points, 9.5 assists, and 10.0 rebounds, while shooting 37.5 percent from the field, 26.9 on threes, and 84.0 on free throws.
But no matter what the numbers show, expect some feathers to be ruffled by these words. They’ll add juice to an already lively rivalry when the two teams square off during the season.