February 2, 2018

In the first part of our two part series going over just about every play Russell Westbrook too part in, we analyze his decision making and give it a grade: Good, Bad, or Meh. Based on the situation, it’s certainly possible that one pull up jumper could get a “Good” while another could get a “Meh.”


For the first time, you can get a glimpse into how I perceive how a player should play. This is less about Westbrook’s point guard skills, and much more about one player on a team with four other teammates. If we don’t call him a point guard, which we shouldn’t, then we should just evaluate him on a play by play basis. That way, there is no preconceived notion of how many shots or assists a point guard should get.


Coach Nick

Coach Nick is the founder of BballBreakdown, coached the Triangle Offense at the high school level, and counts Tex Winter and Pete Newell as mentors. For more of our conversation, follow him @BBALLBREAKDOWN.

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  • Very fair analysis so far, can’t wait to see Part II.

    I don’t know if you will be commenting on this later, but apart from the individual plays, there’s also something that you might call the emotional state of the team from quarter to quarter, and that’s another big part of the PG’s management job, I think. In Q1 & Q2, even though you have Westbrook so far performing reasonably well, I think that he didn’t do as good a job dictating the team’s emotional pace that they needed; they were all a little too high strung and rushed some things. However, the 2nd half I think that he did a better job giving his team the emotional urgency they needed to remain competitive.

    So it’s not so much a play-by-play assessment, but more an evaluation of how the plays get strung together and helped/hurt the team. It is one aspect of Tony Parker’s game that I think he’s learned to do very well over his career. Early on, he was similar to Westbrook in that he was always go-go-go. But now he knows better when it’s time to throttle up and throttle down his team’s mental pace.

  • Thanks, Andy! Part 2 is uploading right now. I say in it how impressed I’ve been with his improvement in these playoffs. No question there seems to be moments where he’ll do several bad plays in a row, then several good – he’s hot and cold. Perhaps that is what will change with more experience. But if he continues to miss Kevin Durant on passes that would lead to shots, the Thunder are in trouble. I only saw 3 in this game, but since it got so tight at the end, those are all crucial.

  • I think they just need to hope Wade’s knee is okay and he can score 22 points a game. They also NEED to post Bosh up vs. Collison…

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