Russell Westbrook’s defense leaves Victor Oladipo a little confused
Russell Westbrook all but averages a triple-double with a league-high 31.8 points per game to go with his 10.6 assists and 9.6 rebounds a night. The 28-year-old point guard has been an All-NBA lock when healthy since his third year in the league and All-Star Game MVP each of the past two seasons.
Westbrook does not, however, have an All-Defensive honor bearing his name. Some have posited that Westbrook fails to match his extraordinary offensive exertion on the defensive end, even questioning whether his penchant for statistics, namely steals or rebounds, takes priority over winning basketball.
True or not, Westbrook will not be submitting his defensive effort on the final play of Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers — a sequence that saw Nick Young steal a pass from his own teammate and mend a broken relationship with another all in one game-winning swoop — to the academy for Defensive Player of the Year consideration this season. And neither will his teammates.
In what could be interpreted as a not-so-subtle shot at his backcourt mate, fellow Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo expressed his frustration over having to hedge on Brandon Ingram and chase down a wide-open Young when he began the last-second inbounds play guarding Lou Williams.
“It was a little confusing. It seemed like I was guarding three people at one time, but it is what it is — you know what I mean? He kind of came out of nowhere. It looked like it was going back to Lou [Williams]; he kind of came out of nowhere, grabbed it and shot it. Made a big…