Olympic Experience Will Have The Biggest Impact On Russell Westbrook
No young superstar was more criticized than Russell Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder guard for the past two years has been ripped apart for everything from his shot selection, decision making, and facilitating. The 2x NBA-All Star played in his first Olympics this year.The Olympic tournament has had a positive effect on the players that have participated on the USA team in the NBA. International competition has help improve the game of players on Team USA. I think this years Olympics in London will benefit no player better than Russell Westbrook.
Impact Of 2010 World Championships
After the 2010 World Championship in Turkey, Westbrook took his game to another level. Following winning gold in the World Championships Westbrook went on to have a career year. Westbrook was selected for his first NBA All-Star game. His stats took a bump from the previous 2009-10 season; 16.1 to 21.9 points, 8.0 to a career high 8.2 assists, and steals went up from 1.3 to career high 1.9 per game. Westbrook improved his overall shooting. His field goal percentage went from 41.8% to 44.2%. Three point shooting went up 11%, from 22.1% to 33% from beyond the arc. At the free throw line Westbrook went from 78% to a career high 84.2%.
The biggest leap in his game was his decision making. Advance stats show that in 2010-11 Westbrook was in the top ten in player efficiency rating and assist percentage, with 23.6 and 42.7 percent respectively. That means Westbrook makes the most out of each position, he is either scoring or putting one of his teammates to score.
New Offensive Dynamic
Coming off the bench for this Olympic team will be the best thing for Westbrook. He played mostly off the ball, which will help him this upcoming season. One of the biggest complaints this year for Oklahoma City was that Kevin Durant doesn’t have the ball in his hands at critical moments. Westbrook off the ball with Kevin Durant, with his improved handle, would add a new dynamic to the Thunder’s offense.
After winning gold Russell Westbrook will make another big step in being an NBA superstar. Westbrook will have a career year that maybe enough to get the Thunder over the hump to return to the NBA Finals and win their first Championship.