Russell Westbrook is one of NBA's bestBy Ben Boynton | 03/03/2015 10:52pm
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Those three duos are considered to be among the greatest pairs in NBA history. All six are considered among the best of their time and in league history.
One of the league’s most electrifying duos in history is playing together right now, as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook put up dizzying numbers for the Oklahoma City Thunder. With last season’s MVP Durant missing a lot of time this season due to injuries, Westbrook has been the alpha dog for the first time in his professional career. Westbrook is showing the NBA why he is one of the best in the league and why he and Durant may end up as one of the best duos ever.
Westbrook has long been criticized for being reckless, selfish and overly aggressive for a team featuring four-time scoring champion Durant. Westbrook has even garnered the nicknames of Good Russ and Bad Russ depending on how he plays in a game. While he can be aggressive, those aspects are part of what makes Westbrook so special.
Westbrook is one of the greatest athletes in NBA history, as he makes plays that just don’t seem physically possible. He has a knack for making plays and steps up his game in crunch time. Westbrook has also improved as a passer, and he currently sits fourth in the NBA in assists with 8.1 per game. He is also the second leading scorer, pouring in 26.5 points per game.
Westbrook has had to step his game up and be the unquestioned top dog with Durant missing games this year. Durant hasn’t played since Feb. 19 in his latest injured stretch, and Westbrook racked up mind-boggling numbers in his absence, including three straight triple-doubles. In the month of February, Westbrook delivered 31.2 points, 10.3 assists and 9.1 rebounds per game in 12 games.
Westbrook will still have moments like a recent loss to the Phoenix Suns where he puts up 39 points on 38 shots. He is not perfect. However, he is clearly one of the best players in the league, and along with a healthy Durant he could be part of one of the league’s greatest duos ever.