Friday, January 2, 2009

Looking back at Russell Westbrook's December

I don't think there's any question that Russell Westbrook is playing much, much better and his selection at No. 4 in last year's draft is beginning to look pretty darn solid. He's skyrocketing up every rookie watch column and is actually catching a little steam in the Rookie of the Year talk.

I wrote about a month ago about the potential impact he could have on the team. I made the assertion that if he could develop a semi-consistent jump shot and make better decisions in traffic with the ball, he could one day be All-Star material. I took a little heat from one basketball genius, David Berri, about it but I still felt I was right. Russell Westbrook has the ability to be a great basketball player. We all needed to remember he's a 20-year-old rookie playing a new position. He has a lot to learn but with a little work, he could get there.

And guess what -- he's come a long way just in that time.

Since I wrote that column December 1st, Westbrook has taken over the starting spot and has played at an extremely high level.

Since December 1:
- Averaging 15.5 points per game (up from 12.2)
- Averaging 5.1 assists per game (up from 4.1)
- Averaging 5.1 rebounds per game (up from 3.3)
- His field goal percentage has gone from 34.5 percent in November to 46.2 in December (now shooting 40 percent on the year). He's shoot 40 percent from three in December, up from 24 percent in November.
- He is averaging 1.5 more turnovers per game (4.0), but his minutes are also way up (from 27.2 to 33.1) and he's also playing pretty much full-time point guard.
- He's had two career nights, scoring 30 in Miami and then topping that with 31 against Phoenix. He's shown the defensive skills he was drafted for and his decision making is getting better and better.

Look at the player Westbrook is most often compared to in that same span. Rajon Rondo averaged 13.2 ppg, 8.3 apg, 5.9 rpg, shot 53.8 percent from the field averaged three turns per game in December. And that was a career month. Plus, Rondo has the advantage of passing to three future Hall of Famers, while Westbrook sets up Damien Wilkins and Robert Swift. The early consensus ROY, Derrick Rose put up 16.3 ppg, 6.2 apg, 3.1 rpg, shot 46 percent from the floor and turned it over three times a game.

If Westbrook has shown that much improvement in just ONE MONTH, imagine what he could look like at the end of January, at the end of March... at the end of the season. Heck, imagine what he could look like after a solid off-season and at the start of next year.

Westbrook has come a long way in just a short amount of time. A lot of it has to do with the coaching change and Scott Brooks opening up his world, but more of it is just Russell's hard work and his insane ability.

I feel slightly vindicated. Now keep playing well Russell so I can keep feeling smart.

UPDATE: Russell was just named Rookie of the Month along with Derrick Rose.

9 comments:

Cloud said...

I enjoy watching the Clunk Monkeys at the Boom Box.

Anonymous said...

Russell Westbrook likes anal plunging from Kevin Durant. He's a buttsex fiend, just like every male in OKC.

(See, two can play at that game)

Anonymous said...

Of course Thunderman40 is Berry. He can't register as Berry after his rant against message boards. He hates being held accountable. He's a hypocrite like all other Okies.

Clay Bennett said...

Are the cocksuckers in the Sonics jerseys supposed to be in the bathrooms at the Ford Center again tonight? The two that were getting most of the action last time were named Brian and Steve and said that their little group of sissys was called SOS. I assume that stands for "Suck On Somebody". I've done some asking around and the way I understand it, if you carry a picture of a hot girl in your back pocket and pull it out and lay it over their head while they service you, It's OK and doesn't mean you're gay. Be sure and tip them so they'll keep coming back. See everyone tonite!

bigots said...

Royce, show some decency and ban this guy. He is making a mockery of your site.

Anonymous said...

Typical Clay Bennett.

hagen said...

I find it ironic that OKC fans resort to vulgar gay jokes when its THEIR team that wear rainbow colors.

After reading comments on this blog after all this time, I'm amazed at the huge inferiority complex that Oklahomans have. Who knew? I know they live in the shadow of Texas (and the other 48 states), but is it really this bad? Someone needs to send in a team of psychologists and anthropologists to investigate and document these guys. All of them can't be like Clay Bennett (both of them).

Anonymous said...

Nice blog Royce! The comment section rules!

Clay Bennett said...

The truth of the matter is that I'm the guy giving head in the mens room. Aubrey just doesn't give it to me like he used to. Anyone up to drilling for oil between my cheeks?