The changed circumstances around Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook have led him to unlocking his full potentials. He has a different role now without the best man in support to him through long playing days, Kevin Durant. Thunder general manager Sam Pesti believed that the changed circumstances conspire to be the stimulator of Westbrook's improvement.
Presti described Russell Westbrook as no longer second banana after he seemed to go solo in singing that had him discovered his true voice. He is definitely evolving, the GM quipped. Now without Durant, Westbrook is described to be at the peak of his powers that no one knew these existed.
Early last week Russell Westbrook signed a new extension with the Thunder a month after Durant left to sign with Golden State Warriors. There was a chatter earlier that Westbrook would be traded if he would not go for an extension. The two had been seen to be symbiotically performing. In one observation, one could not excel without the other, and vice versa.
Then the amazing statistics for a Durant-less Russell Westbrook came. As of March 20 he had 97-percent chance to be star to average a triple-double after the record of Oscar Robertson in 1962. And he has only less than a dozens of games away before being rewarded such triple-double record in this NBA season. The Durant-less Thunder team is breaking record, too, when Westbrook gets that laurel.
Russell Westbrook for Thunder center Steven Adams, he is just the same in average. However, when it comes to games in fourth quarter situations, Westbrook "is crazy (and) works hard for it," Adams said. He added Westbrook seems to come out now in games, and "he's unleashing himself... which is awesome."
But after the match up with the Houston Rocket on Sunday, Russell Westbrook has been talked about in the MVP debate along with James Harden. Based in the three Rockets-Thunder matchups, Westbrook averaged 36.3 points on 44.7 percent shooting, 9.0 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 6.0 turnovers, while Harden averaged 20.5 points on 34.3 percent shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 12.3 assists and 6.3 turnovers. Westbrook leads. Alas, it is not only the triple-double but also the MVP laurel that awaits for a Durant-less Westbrook.