Russell Westbrook is having one of the greatest seasons ever in NBA history. As of right now, he is the only player in the top ten for points per game, assists per game, and rebounds per game. He is the league leader in points per game with 31.6, third in assists with 10.4, and tenth in rebounds with 10.7. In the rebounding category, he is the only guard even in the top 20.
Not only has Russell Westbrook tied Oscar Robinson’s record for most triple doubles in a season he is going to be the second player ever to average a triple double for a whole season. This is one of, if not the greatest seasons ever. Westbrook; however, should not be the MVP this year.
The goal in basketball is to score at least one more point than the other team and the best way to do this is by not turning over the basketball. This season Russell Westbrook has turned the ball over a staggering 417 times. That averages to about 5.4 turnovers per game. The only player in the league who has more turnovers is James Harden. Westbrook has over 100 more turnovers than John Wall who is in third place for most turnovers this season. Instead of making smart plays with the basketball, Russell Westbrook is giving opposing teams extra chances on offense and taking them away from his own team.
Now going back to Westbrooks rebounding stats, he leads the league in uncontested rebounds with 7.9 per game. Uncontested rebounds are when no one else on either team attempts to rebound the ball after a shot. About 74% of his rebounds per game this year are with nobody around him. In a sense, he is padding his stats to inflate his averages. While the rebounding numbers are good, they are a lot less impressive when 74% of them come with nobody around him.
Then there comes the cliché that defense wins championships. Over the years this has been proven to be correct while many teams in all sports leagues that win titles have an above average defense. So, where does Russell Westbrook rank defensively? He is dead last in contested shots per game with only 3.5. Many times, Westbrook allows his man on defense to get an uncontested shot off while he tries to go and get a rebound instead of doing his job and playing defense.
While Russell Westbrook is having a great season I do not believe that he has earned the MVP award this year. He does not always put his team in the best position to win ball games and that is why they are only sixth in the Western conference right now. The MVP needs to be the best player in all facets of the game and clearly Westbrook is not.
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