Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Russell Westbrook vs. Derrick Rose
By Henry Abbott
Russell Westbrook is better than Derrick Rose at some stuff -- in the playoffs, he has had a higher true shooting percentage, more rebounds and more assists.
Why is it, then that Westbrook is the one so often singled out for taking over games to the detriment of his teammates?
Most of that probably has to do with the reality that Westbrook plays with super-scorer Kevin Durant, who could use more touches. But Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak points out that there is also a stylistic difference between Rose's Bulls and Westbrook's Thunder.
At the end of games, Rose does an excellent job of controlling tempo and makes very mature pass/shoot decisions. It helps that his go to move is going to the rim, but he’s made a number of nice kick-outs, notably to Kyle Korver, for big, late shots.
Part of the reason this works so well is because everyone in the gym, on both teams, knows that Rose wants to penetrate. Korver knows where to be.
If Westbrook breaks off a play for Durant because KD gets muscled off his cut, it’s less likely that his Thunder teammates will be perfectly positioned to take advantage of Westbrook’s improvisation.