It’s not that Russell Westbrook can’t feed the post, or even that he doesn’t want to feed the post. It’s just that right before he’s about to shovel a pass into the paint for a high percentage show, another voice pops into his mind. “Kendrick Perkins and Nick Collison aren’t even looking to score, if you throw it to them they’re just going to fumble the ball away. Besides, your teammates want YOU to shoot. So oblige these jokers and lets get ready for the next play.” Sometimes that results in dunks like this. Other times, not so much.
Westbrook is a gunner’s gunner—the one guy in the league that other surplus shooters look at with starry envy. This list of GIFs here can, if you’d like, function has his manifesto. These are all compiled from this postseason, but there is more than enough. Nobody ever made ignoring a better shot look so good.
Sure Thabo’s hand is up, but it’s not like he’s ’94 Hakeem or anything. Russ wouldn’t even make this pass in practice.2 of 10
“Kevin told me to shoot…No he didn’t say it aloud, that’s a clown question bro. He used telepathy.”3 of 10
This time Durant was open, but DeAndre Jordan is looming, I mean, you half way can’t blame him for this one.4 of 10
To be fair, when Westbrook comes off that screen, the closest person to the paint is Nick Collison. There are two players fronting the pass, one of them is Blake Griffin. Odds wise, isn’t taking this shot better than force feeding Collison? Huh? Exactly.5 of 10
He just didn’t care on this one. Durant was an easy pass away from a layup. Instead, RW decides that the plan to take Darren Collison off the dribble. This is an example of the “Bad Westbrook.”6 of 10
Another play that gives his critics ammo. Here, there is ample space for a pass on the right, which best-case, would have led to a foul for Durant. It’s either lack of desire or lack of vision that keeps the ball in his hand. Just a bad look all-around.7 of 10
No complaints on this one. Kevin Durant open (or semi-open) on the wing is better than anyone OKC has in the post. That’s not going to change today, tomorrow or in a few years when the machines take over.8 of 10
Got to give the San Antonio defense its due on this one. Westbrook is harassed and funneled into Tim Duncan, then panics and throws the ball to Tony Parker. This more pro-Spurs than anti-Russ.9 of 10
This is just stubbornness masquerading as a basketball play. Westbrook drives the lane and four Spurs converge. As far as a post play, there’s not much here anyway. This time he would have been better shooting a 3 or taking the ball back out and running another play.