Russell Westbrook is one of the most explosive guards that you will ever see in the game. His ability to change speeds and attack the paint makes him such a tough player to guard. Defenders always have to protect the rim when the ball is in his hands opening up mid range pull ups as well as passes to his teammates. A big part of his game is his ability to score, but over the years he’s become a much improved passer and playmaker in pick & roll.
The firs thing that I always mention about high level point/combo guards is their ability to change speeds. Watch as he almost always changes speeds when he’s going to initiate the screen roll to keep the defender guessing. When the big comes up to help/switch on to him he will do it again to get the big on is heels to Westbrook’s advantage. Many times when he’s in screen/roll he has to play a game of cat and mouse with the big which in most cases doesn’t stand a chance. When he forces the big to help it gives the screener who’s rolling to the rim an opportunity to wither get it in stride on the roll or up top on a lob. One of the clips you see the weak side corner collapse to help on Adams opening up a corner shooter to be open, which Westbrook spots.
Point guards take on all sorts of shapes and sizes. Westbrook blends his ability to get to the rim and finish with his improved range and court vision. He’s developed into a superstar adding something to his game year in and year out. Working for Kobe I remember him mentioning many times that Westbrook and Rondo were the two players in the league that can match his competitiveness and killer mentality. Early on in his career he reminded me so much of Dwyane Wade with his size, athletic ability, and scoring prowess. Any player trying to emulate him watch how he changes speeds , forces his man into the screen and wants to force that Big to switch on to him and play one on one with them. Screen roll is all about the setup and then the read(s) that come after it.
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