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Russ could really use a lift
Don't forget that Russell Westbrook is still just 22. I know that this argument comes up a lot, and people probably tire of it quickly. But it's true!
Russell Westbrook has been playing point guard for all of two years. It's time to cut the kid some slack. His PER last year was a rather pedestrian 23.63. Oops, sorry, did I say pedestrian? I meant that it was eighth in the league and the best of any point guard not named Chris Paul.
Clearly, he had a tough time of it during the playoffs. His turnovers went up, he lost control at times, and his decision-making could be suspect. But he's getting there.
His improvement over the past two years has been nothing short of phenomenal, and while he's not as good as Derrick Rose, he's pretty close. I didn't hear any complaining when the league MVP never passed the ball. (I know, I know, he didn't have Durant on his team, I get it.)
The point is, Westbrook is getting better. He's getting better at an astounding rate, actually, and the hate against him is largely unwarranted. This year was this Thunder team's first playoff appearance (with Perk) and second playoff appearance with Durant leading the way. As shown by Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks, the second time isn't always the charm. After all, Jordan's Bulls lost in the playoffs six times before they won six times.
So lay off of Westbrook and give him a chance to put the critics to rest—if we're having the same conversation in two years, then the dissenters will have a leg to stand on.