Westbrook helps Spurs sweep Thunder

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Russell WestbrookFrom NBA Finals lock and the toast of ESPN, to a 0-2 Conference Finals hole against the San Antonio Spurs, what a difference a week makes for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Their two road losses featured all the facets of coach Scott Brook’s nightmares: spotty defensive rotations, Westbrook shooting too much, and Harden not playing Ginobli tight enough.

Kevin Durant is the best player in the league. He doesn’t have the body of Zerxys from 300 nor does he have an NBA-champion guard that can take over in the fourth when he isn’t able. Durant’s masterful scoring ability lasts all four quarters, he doesn’t intentionally draw the eye of the entire sports world when he signs a new contract, and he wants to win a championship for the same franchise(sorta) that drafted him.  

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Despite all of this, his Floridian foil is closer to hanging a championship banner than he is. While the Miami Heat crunched out to a 2-0 series lead against the ancient Boston Celtics, the Thunder were outwitted by Gregg Popovich and his army of top-tier veterans. Now, the three-year scoring champ must dig deep on the court while utilizing his leadership skills to calm a fellow young superstar.

To avoid beating around the bush, the problem for the Thunder is that Russell Westbrook shoots too much in the playoffs. He upped his field goal percentage this season to a career high of 46 and really made strides to better integrate himself into the offense. His new-found approach on offense pushed the Oklahoma City Thunder into the contender category, but could also be the thing that knocks them right out of it.

Westbrook has taken more shots than Durant in both Game 1 and Game 2, but while shooting a lower percentage. He’s created numerous turnovers that the Spurs have feasted on. The Spurs aren’t beating the Thunder, the Thunder are beating themselves by allowing Westbrook to shoot every time he sees the hoop.

Eric Eulau is an NBA writer for the Sports Blitz.  He can be contacted at EEulau@TheSportsBlitz.com.

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