It’s hard to find anyone who took as much criticism during the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs than Russell Westbrook. Beyond his beef with Thunder reporter Berry Tramel, Westbrook struggled mightily in the Thunder’s gentleman’s sweep at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers. All of his worst tendencies were at the forefront, and in five games, the former MVP averaged 22.8 points, 10.6 assists, 9 rebounds, and 4.6 turnovers in 36 minutes a night.
The biggest issue came with his performance from the field. Everyone knows Westbrook is a less than stellar shooter, but his 36 percent clip from the field while making 32.4 percent of his threes was brutal for the Thunder. Getting that from anyone in a team’s rotation is going to hurt, but getting that from one of your superstars is a death knell.
Westbrook met with the media on Thursday for his exit interview, and at one point was asked about being a lightning rod for criticism over the course of his career. While responding to this, Westbrook alluded to his performance from the field and said it is his intention to refine his jumper this offseason.