Russell Westbrook: The Oklahoma City Thunder's Biggest Flaw

Trevor BarberContributor IIIJune 22, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 21:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives for a shot attempt against Norris Cole #30 of the Miami Heat in Game Five of the 2012 NBA Finals on June 21, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Don't let the title fool you. Russell Westbrook is a very good basketball player. Just not a very good point guard. Here is what I see when I look at Russell Westbrook.



He has gotten better every season.

He plays solid defense.

He is a good compliment when Durant is having an off game.



He takes too many shots. 

Sometimes he tries to establish the Thunder as his team.

He shoots four to five three-point shots a game even though he hasn't established a consistent jumper.

His assists per game dropped 2.7 from last season to this season.

He is going to get 20 points every game no matter how bad his shooting percentage is.


This is not a complete hate article on Russell Westbrook, but I really do think he is an overrated point guard.

The most attractive stat in any sporting event is definitely points. Everybody wants to see points. Points are good. Points equal wins. Now who doesn't like wins? The Thunder did.

Russell Westbrook averages about 24 points and five assists a game with about two steals and slightly under five rebounds. For now I want to set aside the points stat. I will come back to it later.

Westbrook's defense is solid and is something I like to see from my point guard. The assists are what get me. When somebody averages nearly nine assists in his sophomore season, that person should be in the double digit assist numbers by their fourth or fifth season, especially if the three-time scoring champion is on their roster. 

After watching Game 5 of the NBA Finals, I now realize that Westbrook is going to shoot and shoot and shoot until he gets the points he deserves. I also now realize that no matter how many points he has, the Thunder aren't going to beat a team like the Heat. 60 points from Westbrook would usually mean 45 shot attempts, and that isn't going to cut it against a team like Miami. Ever.



My solution here seems a little bit odd and crazy, but it's something I think could work.

I like Westbrook's ability to score, I really do. I just don't think that the scoring needs to come from the primary ball handler, especially when the three-time scoring champion is eight feet away. Still, Westbrook is a big part of that team. So here it goes.

Pick up a veteran PG such as Nash or Kidd this offseason to become the primary ball handler.

Move Westbrook to SG and allow him and Durant to score and feed off of each other's scoring. 

Trade Harden and Perkins for an offensive low scoring presence such as a Marcin Gortat or a pick like Andre Drummond. 

Have a lineup of Nash or Kidd, Westbrook, Durant, Ibaka, and an offensive center. 

Use Thabo and Collison as specialists off the bench and develop other eight or nine point scorers off the bench. 

I think this could be a successful solution to a future powerhouse team for the years to come.