Westbrook’s Quiet Career Year

Kevin Durant is the one being serenaded with MVP chants, but its his All-Star teammate having the career-year.

Point guard Russell Westbrook was the one that took over to close out Minnesota during Friday’s epic double overtime thriller.

Westbrook scored a career-high 45 points, including nine in the second overtime, along with six assists, four rebounds and two steals.

The 23-year-old is posting his highest averages in scoring, field goal percentage and three-point shooting.

Since his assist average decreased by three per game from a season ago, while his field goals attempted have increased by two per game, rumors of conflict between the two superstars spilled onto the court against Memphis earlier in the year.

Ever since, Westbrook has deferred to Durant, as evidenced against the Timberwovles and the Thunder has posted the best record in the Western Conference.

Following a sub-par performance during Oklahoma City’s statement win over Miami Sunday night, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as the Thunder close out the regular season.

NBA TV Fan Night Game of the Week

Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors

Tuesday 10:30 p.m. ET on

Sitting behind Kevin Durant by just one minute in total playing time, Kobe Bryant oddly found himself on the bench over during four key minutes in the fourth quarter. Bryant leads the league in scoring, averaging 28.3 points per game and Los Angeles can’t afford to have him sitting as its lead is just 2.5 game over the Clippers in the Pacific Division.

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Orlando Magic at New York Knicks

Wednesday 7 p.m. ET on

 

The Magic won its third consecutive game Monday with a 117-101 rout over Toronto. Dwight Howard posted his 41st double-double of the season, finishing with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Orlando (32-18) find itself in a race with the surging Hawks for the third best record in the Eastern Conference.

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Dallas Mavericks at Miami Heat

Thursday 8 p.m. ET on

The reigning champions are just 1.5 games away form missing the playoffs. Dallas is dealing with an ongoing saga involving Lamar Odom. The 13-year veteran took a 10-day absence for personal issues then was held out of a 104-87 loss to San Antonio because of a coaching decision for the first time in his career.

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Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers

Thursday 10:30 p.m. ET on

Although the Lakers have gone just 3-3 since adding point guard Ramon Sessions, he has taken command of the offense. Sessions is averaging 14.3 points, 6.7 assists while shooting 53.8 percent from three-point range since joining Los Angeles. Sesions will face Derek Fisher, the former Laker point guard, for the first time since the deal went through.

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Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder

Sunday 1 p.m. ET on

The uncertainty surrounding Derrick Rose, sitting his seventh-consecutive game with a groin injury Monday night, has taken its toll. Chicago’s 108-91 loss to the Nuggets Monday night slipped the Bulls record to 12-5 without its point guard in the lineup and with home court advantage on the line, as Miami sits just 3.5 games back, is crucial.

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Miami Heat at Boston Celtics

Sunday 3:30 p.m. ET on

Paul Pierce chose the perfect time to notch his season-high. Pouring in 36 points Monday, Pierce lifted the Celtics to a 100-92 victory over Charlotte Monday night and Boston into a tie with the 76ers for the division lead. Boston is playing without Ray Allen, as he nurses a sore right ankle, but hopes to have him back in the lineup later this week.

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Upcoming Fan Night Choices

Charlotte Bobcats at Toronto Raptors

San Antonio Spurs at Cleveland Cavaliers

New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers

Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat

Orlando Magic at Detroit Pistons

Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies

Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings

New Jersey Nets at Los Angeles Lakers

Vote for your favorite match-up here. 

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About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.
This entry was posted in Featured Stories, Player Profiles, Western Conference and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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