If you're wondering why the Oklahoma City Thunder lost 3-1 in the first-round playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers, Russell Westbrook is for you.
Two years after a MVP season, Westbrook had a terrible season as a shooter this year. He scored only 42.8 percent of his field goals in the regular season, scoring 29 percent – his worst rating since 2010 – and even battling the free throw line. His 65.6 percent on the line were by far the worst mark of his career.
The bad shooting has continued in the playoffs and is the main reason why the Thunder lose to Portland.
For the series, Westbrook scored 36.5 / 28.0 / 84.4 on his percentage. The first two numbers – 36.5 percent shooting and 28 percent threescore – are killers.
In Game 1 Westbrook took 24 points with 8/17 (47.1 percent), but missed all four of his three. The team lost the game 104-99. In Game 2, he was 5/20 (25 percent) off the field and 1/6 of three terrible. It's no surprise that his team lost 20 when it shot so badly. It was the same story in Game 4 on Sunday when he scored 5/21 (23.8 percent) and lost his team at home at 13.
The only game that has won OKC in the series came in Game 3, when Russ went 11/22 (50 percent) and 4/6 to third. These types of games are too few and too far apart for the team to win a series. The problem is that his bad shooting games are more common. He has always been a stubborn, ball-dominant player, even though Kevin Durant was in the team. If he shoots the ball so badly, he can not continue shooting because he is burying his team.
If you watch Westbrook take so many pictures of how bad he is, he's tough. Will the Thunder win a playoff series if he shoot this way? Next question.