Russell Westbrook is coming off a disappointing season. Before the NBA hiatus, Westbrook was playing the best basketball of his career in his new team, the Houston Rockets.
When the NBA resumed in the Orlando Bubble, Westbrook joined late due to an injury and a subsequent bout of COVID-19. After Westbrook returned, he didn’t play the same way.
The Rockets beat OKC in Round 1 in 7 games. Then they were dispatched by the eventual champions, Los Angeles Lakers, in Round 2.
Westbrook looked like he was missing a step throughout. His teammate, Jeff Green, spoke to Etan Thomas about several subjects.
On Westbrook, Green said that he saw Westbrook’s play deteriorate in the bubble. “I saw it. He missed a handful of practices and then he comes back and it’s different from practice and games. He just didn’t have it.”
Green noted that he didn’t have the rhythm he previously possessed, despite his energy being the same. “He didn’t have a rhythm, the rhythm of the game, where his shots were going to come from.
“It was a different game in the Bubble. He came back, and he was energetic. But the shots, his legs wasn’t there.”
Russell Westbrook not at his best
He noted that Westbrook missing games in the Bubble led to his lack of rhythm. “Then he gets hurt. He missed the whole seeding games. Then he comes back after game 4 of the first-round against OKC. And he still didn’t have the rhythm.
“We had a Russell who – the athleticism, the quickness was still there but the legs and everything wasn’t there. You know Russ, he’s going to fight. But it just wasn’t enough time for us to get him reps to have his legs, his rhythm.”
Green suggested that the short rest periods in the bubble led to Russell’s inability to recover his rhythm.“Because we play every other day. It started to feel like back to back to back to back. After a while, the days off go super quick.
“It was hard to get him in the gym, get up and down because we were playing every other day. We didn’t have enough time to get him established with the rhythm of the game.”
However, Green suggested that Westbrook wouldn’t want to make any excuses for his performances. “But like Russell would say, we’re not going to make excuses. We’re just going to go with the results. But it was tough, it was really tough for him.”
It will be interesting to see where Westbrook ends up before the new season. Reports have suggested that Westbrook wants to leave the Houston Rockets; but will that come to pass?
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