Golden State Warriors think Westbrook is “easy to defend”

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 03: Russell Westbrook
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 03: Russell Westbrook /

A new report has emerged claiming the Golden State Warriors believe the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook’s style of play is “easy to defend”.

The relatively new rivalry between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder may have just stepped up a notch. That is if a new report is to be believed. According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe of The Lowe Post podcast, the Warriors have no qualms about facing Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook. According to Lowe, the team believes Westbrook’s “style of play is so easy to defend; it’s like cake to them”.

Regardless of whether this rumor is true, there is definitely some validity to these statements. Against the Warriors in their four regular season clashes last year, Westbrook’s numbers were down across the board in comparison to his season averages.

Perhaps most telling of the Warriors’ ease in defending him is Westbrook committed 32 turnovers against them last year. That averages out to eight turnovers per contest. Additionally, the Dubs forced him into some poor shooting, averaging just 37.5 percent overall.

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Westbrook’s style of play is in many ways similar to the Warriors’ style. He plays a high-tempo game, which results in high output, but many turnovers. Perhaps this is why the Warriors are so successful against him. The team knows the ins-and-outs of Westbrook’s own game better than he does.

Don’t be surprised to see the rest of the league start to decipher the formula to stopping Westbrook. He’s an incredible talent, but, he had his best season last season. With the arrivals of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, Westbrook won’t possess the same individual dominance.

Furthermore, his confidence may get the best of him. Prior to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s preseason clash against Melbourne United of Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL), when quizzed about his expectations of Melbourne United, Westbrook quipped he “ain’t expecting s—“. The Thunder barely scraped by, winning 86-85, with the team’s ‘big three’ all playing significant minutes.

The Warriors should have no trouble in getting past the Thunder this year. I’d go as far as to predict it will be a sweep. Westbrook has relatively limited success against the Dubs, and he’ll be staring down the barrel of their most stacked roster ever, this season. With the additions of George and Anthony, Westbrook’s role is set to decrease.

If the Warriors weren’t already confident about facing Westbrook, they will be this season.

What do you think of the reports that the Golden State Warriors think Russell Westbrook is “easy to defend”? Comment below!