Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder showed last year they were a force to be reckoned with in the NBA, but this current feud is going to bring the team's championship hopes crashing to the ground before they can even get started.
First of all, it's worth noting this little spat isn't yet to the point of derailing the 4-0 Thunder. Westbrook reiterated that point before last night's win over the Dallas Mavericks.
"It's a part of the game. It never was meant to spill over, so it wasn't like I did it on purpose to spill over," Westbrook said. "I was just telling my guy to shoot the ball when he was open. It wasn't like I was telling him something wrong to do. I'm telling my guy to shoot the ball and then the rest what was happening had nothing to do with that play. But you never get the full story unless you were there to see exactly what happened."
So it was a heat-of-the-moment type of thing and that's the end of it, right?
If only it was that simple. Going back to last year's playoffs, this is now the second time there has been controversy between Durant and Westbrook in a very short span.
Sure, some of it is spurred on by the media, but at some point you have to believe this isn't just a coincidence. There has to actually be something going on here.
What really bothers me isn't that Westbrook and Durant had words during an intense game against the Memphis Grizzles. I like to see that, actually. It shows they care about the game.
What bothers me is how Westbrook is playing.
First of all, remember this is the team's point guard.
He's taking 16.5 shots per game, making 33 percent of those, and has just 5.5 assists per game to go along with his insane 6.3 turnovers per game.
Again, that's your point guard. Even if those numbers translated to 20 points per game (they translate to 15.5 currently), they wouldn't be numbers you want to see.
Here's a hint for Westbrook: Pass the ball to Kevin Durant more than you shoot. He's kind of good.
Westbrook is taking just two shots less per game than Durant when he should be taking about six-to-eight shots less.
I realize Westbrook can be an explosive scorer, but I'm beginning to think there's just something wrong in this guy's head. Maybe he just can't deal with not being the best player on the team, I don't know.
But when he's out there on the same floor as Durant and James Harden and he isn't averaging eight to nine assists per game, there's something wrong. He just doesn't seem to understand how he can best help this team, and that's a major problem.
Especially when it's your floor general that has that problem.
Again, I'm not worried about this recent feud, although at this point any media might be bad media for Westbrook and company. I'm more worried that this little back and forth between Oklahoma City's two stars didn't end in the offseason.
If it continues to escalate like this, and if Westbrook continues to play at a selfish level, the losses will start coming.
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