Russell Westbrook is the best player on the Oklahoma City Thunder, and it’s not cutting-edge basketball knowledge that they’ll do worse when he’s not on the floor.
But the degree to which they were inept without him during this week’s playoff series loss to the Houston Rockets is staggering.
Westbrook played 194 minutes in the series’ five games, of which Houston won four. When Westbrook was on the floor (for 39 minutes per game), the Thunder outscored Houston by 4.9 points per 100 possessions. Taj Gibson (plus-13.7) and Steven Adams (plus-7.7) posted even better net ratings when they were on the court.
When Westbrook wasn’t on the court, Oklahoma City was even worse than you probably thought. The Thunder were outscored by 51.3 points per 100 possessions while Westbrook watched from the bench, for a total of 46 minutes during the series. That’s about one full game, scattered throughout five games, of total ineptitude.
In real terms, when Westbrook sat this series, the Thunder were outscored 137-79 in 45.5 minutes of total court time. They lost by 58 points without Westbrook playing. For the entire series, Houston only outscored Oklahoma City by 43 points.
Bad news, Leafs fans: you exited the playoffs early. Good news: you pick high enough to land a nice prospect in a shallow draft. Two defensemen are left that might stick in the first round, and Foote is the safer pick. The son of Avalanche legend Adam Foote is as smart a two-way defender as any in the draft; Foote is the kind of defenseman who can clean up mistakes from Toronto’s high-flying Texas Rangers Cheap Jerseys forwards and send them back up-ice for years.