Justin Ford/USA TODAY Sports
The Thunder are 12-10 this season with Russell Westbrook and without Kevin Durant.Russell Westbrook had a season-high 10 turnovers in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
It brings to light the question of whether or not Westbrook really is able to carry his team without Kevin Durant in the lineup.
Struggling against good teams
Yes, at 12-10, the Thunder have a winning record in games Westbrook plays without Durant.
However, that record doesn't tell the whole story. The Thunder are just 3-9 in those games against teams that are currently .500 or better and 9-1 against teams with losing records.
In those 10 games against teams with losing records, Oklahoma City has outscored its opponents by 10.8 points per game, a mark that would rank first overall over the course of the season.
In those 12 games against teams .500 or better, Oklahoma City has been outscored by 2.5 points per game, a mark that would rank 21st overall over the course of the season, just behind the Detroit Pistons and also worse than teams such as the Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz.
Durant was better carrying the load
Just last season, it was Westbrook missing all the games -- 36 of them, to be exact. Durant played in 35 of those games.
In those games, the Thunder went 24-11, including 10-6 against teams that finished the season .500 or better.
In the 16 games against teams .500 or better, Oklahoma City outscored its opponents by 4.4 points per game, which would have ranked sixth overall over the course of the season.
In the 19 games against teams under .500, Oklahoma City outscored its opponents by 5.7 points per game, which would have ranked third overall over the course of the season.
2013-14 Durant vs. 2014-15 Westbrook
In the 35 games Durant played without Westbrook last season, he averaged more points, shot a higher field goal percentage and turned it over fewer times than Westbrook has this season in games without Durant.
Real plus-minus is a player's estimated on-court impact on team performance, measured in net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions. RPM takes into account teammates, opponents and additional factors.
By that metric, Durant was the fourth-best player last season and Westbrook is the fourth-best player this season. It also has two separate components: one for offense and one for defense.
This season, Westbrook is the only player ranked among the top 15 who rates as a negative defensive player.