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Westbrook's intensity can sometimes get in the way of his game.
Passion is good, but sometimes Westbrook’s passion gets in the way. For example, on January 31, during the Thunder’s 106-89 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, Westbrook was called for a five-second violation and preceded to lose his cool. The problem was, though, that his frustration affected his game after the call.
Ben Golliver wrote of the incident on The Point Forward, “[Westbrook] appeared to carry on the conversation with the Thunder’s bench at the beginning of the ensuing defensive possession before badly missing a wild runner on Oklahoma City’s next offensive possession and, later, allowing Bayless to leak out behind him for a dunk after a Kevin Durant turnover.”
He continued, “At that point, Thunder coach Scott Brooks called timeout and Westbrook was removed from the game, well before his usual rotation.” Moreover, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said of Westbrook’s emotions following the call, “Russell’s an emotional guy. He plays hard. He plays every night. He plays for his team every night…There’s no question he was frustrated.”
There’s no doubt that all players get frustrated, but Westbrook needs to learn to control his emotions and stay focused.