Russ Is UNDERrated

Wednesday, June 20th 2012, 7:28 pm
By: News On 6

Russell Westbrook deserves mega credit. I'm not just talking about last night because we all know how spectacular he was. I'm talking about the entire season. He has been spectacular.

I know a lot of you Thunder fans out there don't like him. "He's not a point guard", you say. "He shoots too much", you whine.

Well let me tell you something…

You're all wrong.

New Tulsa basketball coach Danny Manning said it the other night as well when we interviewed him at the Iba Awards ceremony. His exact quote: "No Russell Westbrook, NO NBA FINALS".

Would you argue with a 6-foot-10 guy? Nope.

I wouldn't have anyway because he's right. The Thunder is a team that benefits from having a high-energy PG like Russ. He's faster than every other guard in the league. He proved that against Tony Parker in the Western Conference Finals. He's a better shooter than most of the guards in the league outside of the elite guys like Kobe, Wade and a few others.

Does he make the occasional mental blunder? Yes.

Lots of players do… not just the young ones.

Example: Derek Fisher leads a 4-on-1 fast break in Game 4 and, instead of kicking it out for a wide open 3-point try on the wing, he barrels in and gets his shot blocked from behind. That led to a bucket on the other end for Miami. Fisher is a 5-TIME CHAMPION. If HE can make mistakes, Russ can too.

Stop ragging on Russ because he isn't the prototypical PG. He is the perfect floor general for the Thunder. He is one of the two reasons they are in the Finals, along with Kevin Durant. KD will attest to that.

I will go so far as to say Russ makes KD better. I said the same thing about Justin Blackmon. No. 81 in orange got most of the headlines as the 2-time Biletnikoff Award winner, but Brandon Weeden was the reason why. Don't get me wrong, Blackmon is great, but don't overlook Brandon's contribution to Justin's success.

Same thing with Russ and KD. Don't gloss over the impact that No. 0 has on these games. You claim it's all bad but, in reality, he's underrated.