NBA

Breaking Down Russell Westbrook’s Incredible Season

May 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) passes the ball as Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) defends in the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook is having yet another historic year with the Washington Wizards. Not only has he set several records with Washington this year, but he is helping make a big playoff push. So we’ll dive deep into Westbrook’s incredible season with Washington. Specifically, we will look at Westbrook’s accolades, impact on the Wizards, and team success.

Individual Records

May 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) celebrates on the court against the Indiana Pacers in the third quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Westbrook has had some massive games during his playoff push with Washington. Some of his stat lines have been truly remarkable this season.

For example, at the end of March versus the Pacers, he had one of his best games of the year. Westbrook put up a stunning 35 points, 21 rebounds, and 14 assists on 62.06 TS%. Not only is this a ridiculous stat line, but it’s the only 35/20/10 game in NBA history.

Additionally, Westbrook had another unprecedented game earlier this week, also against Indiana. He put up an incredible 14 points, 21 rebounds, and 24 assists in a win. In this game, Westbrook tied his career-high for assists and set a new one for rebounds. Also, no other NBA player has recorded this stat line or better in NBA history.

These historical stat lines seem to be light work for Westbrook. He seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to help get the Wizards into the playoffs.

Additionally, Westbrook is once again recording triple-doubles at a historic clip this year. He’s already blown the Washington Wizards’ franchise record for triple-doubles out of the water with a total of 32 this season alone. Darrell Walker has the second most triple-doubles in the franchise’s history, with 15.

The 2020-21 season is Westbrook’s fourth season averaging a triple-double in his career. No other player has done it more than once. Westbrook is also just three triple-doubles away from breaking the record for most ever, which he very well may do this season.

Westbrook’s accolades are a massive part of his incredible season. We’ll see if he and Beal can secure a spot in the playoffs for Washington this year.

Impact on the Wizards

May 3, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) celebrates with Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) against the Indiana Pacers in the third quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

During Washington’s historic stretch in April, Westbrook’s impact has been nothing short of superb. In their last 13 games, the Wizards are 11-2, the second-best record in the league during that stretch. In that timespan, Westbrook is averaging 22.3/13.8/12.8. He is leading the team in points, rebounds, and steals in this span.

The statistics don’t lie: Westbrook has been a big part of the Wizards’ success over the last 13 outings. He has the fifth-highest plus-minus in the NBA and the third-highest by a point guard during that period.

Additionally, Russell Westbrook has been crucial for Washington on the offensive end during this 13-game stretch. Westbrook is helping lead Washington to the second-highest offensive rating in the league during that stretch of games. Also, the Wizards have put up the most points per game by a team in the last 13 games.

While Westbrook is not the sole reason for this success, he is the floor general and the team’s leader. He is the primary facilitator of the offense, and much of the team’s success on this end of the floor can be attributed to him.

Coach Scott Brooks has also taken note of Westbrook’s immense impact. He had some words of praise for the former MVP.

“What he does, there’s no point guard that has ever done it.”

Scott Brooks on Westbrook after a win against the Pacers

Russell Westbrook is a huge reason why the Wizards are in the playoff picture this year. The Wizards are tenth in the East, in the play-in tournament, and just 1.5 games back from the eighth seed. The immense impact he has had on Washington is just another part of his incredible season.

Team Accolades

Dec 19, 2020; Washington, DC, USA; Russell Westbrook #4 talks with Davis Bertans #42 of the Washington Wizards during a first half timeout during a preseason game against the Detroit Pistons at Capital One Arena on December 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. Mandatory Credit: Rob Carr/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Although the Wizards’ season has been somewhat underwhelming, they have been playing great as of late. From April 11th to April 25th, Washington went on an eight-game win streak, their longest since 2001. During this streak, Westbrook averaged an incredible 22.4/13.1/11.8.

You can see a sense of urgency in the way Washington has been playing lately. The Wizards have won eleven games since April 11th, the most in the NBA.

As stated earlier, Washington is currently in the play-in tournament and has a solid chance of making the playoffs this year. If the season were to end today, they would face the Pacers in the play-in tournament, currently 2-0 against this season. If they were to beat Indiana, they would go against the loser of the Hornets-Celtics game.

Only 1.5 games separate the 8-10 seeds in the East, and Washington can make some waves as the regular season comes to a close.

Although the Wizards have somewhat underperformed this season, Westbrook and Beal have the chance to help take this team to the postseason. If they are to do so, this will cap off Westbrook’s incredible season in a fantastic way.

In conclusion, Russell Westbrook’s season has indeed been a historical one. As the regular season concludes, it will be interesting to see how Washington performs in these last few games.

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