Sport Thunder vs. Rockets: Don't expect Russell Westbrook to change in Game 3

17:20  21 april  2017
17:20  21 april  2017 Source:   Sporting News

NBA playoffs: Russell Westbrook says basketball is only friend on court

  NBA playoffs: Russell Westbrook says basketball is only friend on court Russell Westbrook and James Harden have a friendship that goes back to when they were kids. The pair grew up in the same neighborhood in Los Angeles and were both on the Thunder from 2009-12. They continued tomaintainthat friendship, even when Harden moved on to the Rockets. © (Getty Images) James Harden, Russell Westbrook But with the Rockets and Thunderfacing off the the first round of the NBA playoffs, Westbrook made it clear that his friendship with Harden will be nonexistent on the court."When I get on the floor, I got one friend, and that's the basketball," Westbrook said, via ESPN.

Thunderous Thoughts: Game Two therapy session for OKC Thunder fans 3 h ago. OKC Thunder vs Houston Rockets : Game 2 preview21h ago. Russell Westbrook and the Not Ready For Prime Time Players1 d ago.

Apr 16, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; OKC Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) dribbles the ball during the second quarter against the Houston Rockets in game one of the first round of the 2017 Being ranked as the top team in the NBA for rebounding, I expect the Thunder to rebound more in game two.

Russell Westbrook had a historically good, and a historically bad performance in Game 2 of the Thunder's playoff series against the Rockets. He became the first player in NBA history to have a 50-point triple-double in the playoffs. He also went 4 of 18 in the fourth quarter, which set an NBA playoff record for shots attempted in the final quarter.

For comparison, that same night Stephen Curry (18), Klay Thompson (17) and James Harden (17) took fewer shots in their entire games.

The Thunder point guard was criticized after the game, with analysts saying he shouldn't be taking so many shots. But don't expect Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan to change his strategy, because he knows Westbrook doing what he wants is how his team will win games.

NBA playoffs: Russell Westbrook says basketball is only friend on court

  NBA playoffs: Russell Westbrook says basketball is only friend on court Russell Westbrook and James Harden have a friendship that goes back to when they were kids. The pair grew up in the same neighborhood in Los Angeles and were both on the Thunder from 2009-12. They continued tomaintainthat friendship, even when Harden moved on to the Rockets. © (Getty Images) James Harden, Russell Westbrook But with the Rockets and Thunderfacing off the the first round of the NBA playoffs, Westbrook made it clear that his friendship with Harden will be nonexistent on the court."When I get on the floor, I got one friend, and that's the basketball," Westbrook said, via ESPN.

Counting just the Thunder vs Rockets it’s Houston who hold a 5 game edge 19-14, mostly due to the 3 -1 edge this season. Thunderous Intentions 1 d agoOKC Thunder Game 1 Preview - Rockets Editor Offers Insight. Bleacher Report 4d agoOscar Robertson Honors Russell Westbrook Before

Get team statistics for the Oklahoma City Thunder vs . Houston Rockets basketball game . James Harden scored fewer points than Russell Westbrook in all four of their regular-season meetings, but Harden far outshined his former Thunder teammate in Game 1.

"Let's be honest. When Russell has been off the floor for us, there's been a differential," Donovan said Thursday.

A historic differential. Westbrook's 15.5 box plus-minus this season not only led the league, it was 2.6 points better than any other player in history. His VORP (value over replacement player) of 12.4 came out over the previous single-season best set by Michael Jordan (12.0).

russell-westbrook-42117-usnews-getty-FTR © Provided by Sporting News russell-westbrook-42117-usnews-getty-FTR

In short: when Westbrook is on the floor doing his thing, the Thunder will succeed. His performances haven't led to victories yet, but it's hard to win on the road against a team like the Rockets. He at least kept the game close in Game 2, and that's all you can ask for: a chance to win.

NBA playoffs: Russell Westbrook says basketball is only friend on court

  NBA playoffs: Russell Westbrook says basketball is only friend on court Russell Westbrook and James Harden have a friendship that goes back to when they were kids. The pair grew up in the same neighborhood in Los Angeles and were both on the Thunder from 2009-12. They continued tomaintainthat friendship, even when Harden moved on to the Rockets. © (Getty Images) James Harden, Russell Westbrook But with the Rockets and Thunderfacing off the the first round of the NBA playoffs, Westbrook made it clear that his friendship with Harden will be nonexistent on the court."When I get on the floor, I got one friend, and that's the basketball," Westbrook said, via ESPN.

OKC Thunder Game 1 Preview – Rockets Editor Offers Insight 3 d ago. An open letter to Russell Westbrook , Thank You 3 d ago. The second guy I feel I can count on is Andre Roberson. His role hasn’ t changed much from last years OKC Thunder vs Houston Rockets : Game 2 preview11h ago.

OKC Thunder vs Houston Rockets : Game 2 preview Thunderous Intentions. 3 . Focus On Oklahoma City’s Role Players. Russell Westbrook had a spectacular game , putting up a 51-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound triple-double in the losing effort.

"We’ve been playing that way all year,” Thunder guard Victor Oladipo said Thursday. “We’ve been in that situation all year and Russ has made shots. We’d all be sitting here talking differently if he was making shots in the first place and we would have won."

Westbrook likely won't be putting up 18 shots in a single quarter again, but he should have the green light to do it if that's what he feels is the right decision.

"I have an enormous amount of trust and confidence after being with Russell this season for 82 games and seeing the ways he's closed out games and different things that he's done," Donovan said. "I trust him when he's got the ball in terms of making decisions. Sometimes, when the ball goes in the basket, people have a tendency to say, 'Wow! This was just an unbelievable performance!' And 'Is he the best closer in the game?' And then when they don't go in, it's gonna be, 'Did he take too many shots?' I think there's always a balance there.

"Are there some shots and better ball movement we could have? Absolutely. Are there some shots that he took and plays that he made that I wouldn't take back? Absolutely. I think you're always looking to find that balance where we can collectively function as well as he can."

When the Thunder try to defend their home court Friday night against the Rockets, expect Westbrook to do what he did in Game 2, which is what he's been doing all year long.

Russell Westbrook © (Getty Images) Russell Westbrook

NBA playoffs 2017: Russell Westbrook clowns Rockets with MVP handle after block .
Russell Westbrook was a magician when he dribbled through three defenders in the first half of the Oklahoma City Thunder's NBA playoff game vs. the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.And that was after he blocked/stolean alley-oop attempt on the other end.Russ is putting the F.U. In FUN pic.twitter.com/fHStjWKodJ— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) April 20, 2017First, aspinmove sent Lou Williams running in the wrong direction. Then,inside the top of the key, a behind-the-back move had Clint Capela runninginto a Steven Adams screen and taking Eric Gordon out of the picture.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!