After just being named the Western Conference Player of the Week, I think it’s time we strongly consider Russell Westbrook as a contender, if not the front-runner, for the Most Valuable Player Award in the NBA this season.
I want to start off by saying this is not an easy article for me to write. Yes, Westbrook is on my second-place Fantasy Basketball team, but I went to USC and grew up a huge Gary Payton & Seattle Supersonics fan so writing positively about a UCLA Bruin on the Oklahoma City Zombies (errr…Thunder) is not the easiest task.
Anyways, every time I watch this guy, I am in awe over what he does on the basketball court. I believe his biggest strength might be his naïveté because he doesn’t realize that he shouldn’t be able to physically do what he does. This guy shuffles full-speed backwards, jumps four-feet diagonally for a steal, runs full-speed the opposite direction dribbling the ball, then explodes to the rim to dunk on some six-foot-eight athletic specimen with a seven-foot wingspan and four-foot vertical. How is that possible?
Westbrook has lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 14-7 record even though Kevin Durant has missed four games and been hampered by injury most of the season. I love numbers so let’s jump into that world. Westbrook is currently 7th in the NBA in scoring (24.1/game), 6th in assists (8.7), 6th in steals (2.2), and 6th in double-doubles with 12. To top everything off, he is leading the NBA in combined Points + Rebounds + Assists at 38.4/game.
Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Who are your nominations for MVP so far this year?