If you're wondering why the Oklahoma City Thunder lost 3-1 in the first-round playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers, Russell Westbrook is the place for you.
Two After an MVP season, Westbrook had a terrible season as a shooter this year. He scored only 42.8 percent of his field goals in the regular season, scoring 29 percent – his worst rating since 2010 – and even battling the free throw line. His 65.6 percent on the line were by far the worst mark of his career.
Bad shooting has continued into the playoffs and is the biggest reason the Thunder lose to Portland.
For the series, Westbrook scores 36.5 /28.0/84.4 percentages. These first two numbers – 36.5 percent shooting and 28 percent threescore – are killers.
In Game 1, Westbrook went 8/17 (47.1 percent) with 24 points, but missed all four of his three. The team lost the game 104-99. In Game 2, he was 5/20 (25 percent) off the field and 1/6 of three terrible. It's no surprise that his team lost 20 when it shot so badly. Same story in Game 4 on Sunday, when he shot 5/21 (23.8 percent) and lost his team at home at 13.
The only game that has won OKC in the series came in Game 3 when Russ scored 11. 22 (50 percent) and 4/6 in threes. These types of games are too few and too far apart for the team to win a series. The problem is that his bad shooting games are more common. He has always been a stubborn, ball-dominant player, even though Kevin Durant was in the team. If he shoots the ball so badly, he can not continue shooting because he is burying his team.
Watching Westbrook taking so many shots of how bad he is, he's tough. Will the Thunder win a playoff series if he shoot this way? Next question: