At some point, the media had to realize just how good Russell Westbrook is. I can understand the love fest they may have with Stephen Curry, LeBron James, and their respective teams. But why the surprise for what Westbrook and OKC have done so far?
Kevin Durant is a great player but where would Durant be if there were no Westbrook? The Thunder do not seem to have missed a beat after Durant pulled the okie-doke this summer.
The team has played without Durant for much of the past two seasons and have done well. Everyone has focused their attention on a number of shots Westbrook takes and forgot about the production from Enes Kanter, Steven Adams, Robertson, and others. The Thunder remind me of the Micheal Jordan led Chicago Bulls. He was the ring leader, Pippen was the second act but the rest of the team played their performance to perfection.
For the same reasons people hate Westbrook is the same reason his teammates love him. This is an era where its iso plays and who can top 40 points. Westbrook does that, but he also rebounds and dishes out assists to the tune of a two rebounds short of triple double average this season.
But yet, everyone is surprised OKC is leading the West.
Look at the stats, they have played as a team. But the media and nation is so blind by the super teams they haven’t taken notice to what’s in front of their face. Westbrook is your scorer and distributer. Victor Oladipo is the stat sheet stuffer and just in case player. Adams and Kanter are the twin towers that go unnoticed outside Chesapeake Energy Arena until you check the stat sheet and see 25 points and 25 rebounds.
There will be no challenge to the Warriors 73 wins, no respect from the league with a cast of three All-Stars either. But, who cares? The Thunder are focused on winning. Not to show Durant what he’s missing but to prove to everyone that they are just fine being who they are.
And while you mock Westbrook, he has done nothing but provides his team the leadership Durant has yet to give to the Warriors.