If you think you know how to limit Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook, then you need to think again.
The eighth-year superstar has 15 triple-doubles this season, and the Thunder are undefeated in those contests. He’s averaging 23.7 points, 10.4 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game. And his ferocious attacking with the ball has freed up teammate Kevin Durant, allowing the Thunder forward to reach previously unseen heights.
As good as Durant is, though, Oklahoma City’s offense starts with Westbrook. So with the Thunder set to face the Raptors on Monday night, Toronto coach Dwane Casey has a plan for his team: Send multiple defenders at Westbrook all night long and force the ball out of his hands (via Toronto Star):
“He plays with a huge chip on his shoulder and that helps him be a great competitor and you have to meet his force with your force,” Casey said. “And with multiple guys. One guy is not going to stop him from getting where he wants to go so we’ve got to send multiple bodies to where he wants to go and make sure he sees walls all night.”
Now, there are two problems with that strategy. The first is the aforementioned Durant. If Toronto is even a half-step slow in its defensive rotations after forcing Westbrook to pass, Durant is going to absolutely destroy the Raptors.
The second problem: Westbrook, who was informed of Casey’s plan and had the perrfect, most Westbrook-ian response ever:
Russ Westbrook was told Casey said Raptors would have a wall of two guys at him at all times. "They better get three."