Russell Westbrook Will Determine Future of NBA's Western Conference

Tim HarveyCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2012

Ready to go.
Ready to go.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It's going to be hard to keep up with Russell Westbrook's athletic ability.

When it comes to who is the best point guard in the NBA, talk of the league—and from the courts to the schools and the work places to the playgrounds—it used to be determined that the greatest  was between Deron Williams and Chris Paul, in recent memory.

Nowadays, the water cooler and locker conversations have been refilled and stacked with barrels of debate between young guns Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose, who already have championships and MVPs to their names.

But, in the talk of the greatest, more than just some breath should be saved for Russell Westbrook.

The leagues one-time greatest secret who's game is now speaking volumes.

Turn it up and tune in because Oklahoma City Thunder's number two is focused on the associations number one goal—winning. This guy is no longer the Robin to what is Kevin Durant's Batman, forming a one-two punch with the smooth, scoring machine that's ready to take hits at LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol and Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.

It's about to be a dark night for the opposition as this team rises.

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Westbrook polices the blue and whites with a 'pass first, shoot later' courtesy, professionalism and respect to his teammates. This All-Star is also all-team and all-box-score, with last season averages of 21.9 points, 8.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals per contest.

These are the type of statistics that engrave big numbers and names in the annals of sports history.

Exciting future.
Exciting future.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Still Durant is the leading man, and his supporting actor knows this.

But, that doesn't mean Russell can't step in and be the star when the script calls for it. That's why Westbrook has even more plays written for him, as his clutch plays lead to more happy endings than Adam Sandler flicks.

Scott Brook's cinematic plays are the reason some Hollywood stars are flocking to Oklahoma City to watch real ball.

Basketball is putting this town on the map, and Russell and Kevin are holding the key's as the 'Ford Centre' refuels night after night.

With this perfect pair and a strong OKC team that features big talents like Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka and more, the one-time Seattle Supersonics really are a different team and it all starts with the franchise's truest point guard since Gary Payton.

Now the gloves are off.

With the Los Angeles Lakers getting older and the San Antonio Spurs getting colder right now, the only thing standing in Oklahoma City's way in the West is the league's best—the Dallas Mavericks.

As for Westbrook, the only small guard that's more on-point than him out in the wild West is the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul. He may have Blake Griffin on the receiving end of his lobs, but he still needs more in return.

Westbrook runs the West, and his path to being right there with the beasts of the East isn't a long one either. Deron, Derrick and Rajon are about to have some company.

This former fourth pick of the draft may be four points away from being the NBA's best PG, but with strength like Rose, speed like Rondo, skill like Paul and toughness like Williams, Westbrook shares more with the best than a bright future.

Plus, his versatility and repertoire of skills make parts of his game better than those above him.

Russell has a lot of aces up his sleeve, ready to serve his competition.

Advantage Westbrook.

In a court of his own.
In a court of his own.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

This UCLA graduate and Californian college star is making his mark on the league like bruiser and fellow Bruin Kevin Love.

Both have strong games primed to leave haters comments weak. A potent force, this former L.A. king is built for the gym and the clutch, like Lakers' guard Derek Fisher, and he was born to be a serious star like L.A.'s other guard.

Kobe better watch out, as a shaggy-haired, blonde bomber isn't his only concern.

This bald, bold guard is ready to shave some years off for the Lakers' dominance, saying goodbye to a dynasty like Dame while he dashes through the defence.

Westbrook is quick, strong, hungry and full of talent. Once this raw star overcomes some inconsistencies, look for his game to be polished into something pure. Then, his Oklahoma City partner and team will be so much better.

The hype has been justified. As for the final result, we have no idea what's in store.

This number zero really is something, it's the competition that is left like nothing. Repping the West harder than his tough game, the forecast of the Thunder's future with Russ calls for 'reign.'

The rest of the league won't have an umbrella strong enough when the former Seattle team's storm is in full force. The weather of the league is changing. Let's hope the NBA's ready.

This Long Beach native is the youngest star to come out of that area since Snoop Dogg, and now the whole world knows the name of this 22-year-old guard. It won't be long before the cheers ring out for Russell like Norm.

Right now, he's the best young guard in the West, bar none.

The rest of the league isn't waiting either, as this before-his-time star has arrived to the contender party as early as he arrives to practice to hoist up shots while everyone else is busy playing outside the courts.

Rest assured, Russ is determined to be the last one to leave the gym, too. Whether it's in practice gear or championship tees.

Then, it'll be him and not his critics with the last word.

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