Opinions differ: Westbrook's shots good ones?

May, 19, 2011
5/19/11
12:59
PM CT
DALLAS -- Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks and point guard Russell Westbrook might not see eye-to-eye on Westbrook's shot selection, but players and coaches rarely do.

Westbrook went 3-of-15 from the floor in Game 1, missing an array of mid-range jumpers and being unable to finish at the rim on numerous penetrations. Before the Thunder's Thursday morning shootaround, Brooks said he felt Westbrook could have been more judicious with his shot selection.

"I thought he took a few, four, five not good shots," Brooks said. "Those are shots that if he has a great game going, yeah, they can fall."

Westbrook felt differently. He had not heard Brooks' assessment when asked how many of the 15 shots he took that he believed to be good shots.

"They were all good shots," Westbrook said. "Just wasn't able to make them."

Brooks did praise Westbrook for continually attacking inside, which landed him on the free throw line 18 times. He scored 14 of his 20 on free throws.

"When he attacks the basket I can't complain," Brooks said. "He got to the free throw line because all of his attacks were basically good plays for him and he got to the line. He didn't make his midrange shot and that's something that he has improved on over last year, and he still has to stay confident in that because that's when he's really good when he makes those pull-up jumpers."

Brooks credited Mavs center Tyson Chandler for clogging things up at the basket and making life tough on Westbrook as he headed to the hoop. Westbrook was able to consistently get by DeShawn Stevenson, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and whomever else Dallas put on the 6-foot-3, third-year speedster. However, he typically had to adjust in mid-air, and more often than not misfired off the glass.

Again, Westbrook wasn't quick to agree with his coach's assessment that Chandler made it tough to finish drives.

"It wasn't tough," Westbrook said. "I just missed the layups."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsS. Marion 6.5
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9