Russell Westbrook: Most overrated player in the NBA

The Oklahoma City Thunder could very well come back and win their first round series with the Portland Trailblazers but after two games of the series its clear to anyone that is watching the best point guard on the floor is not Mr. Triple Double Russell Westbrook.  In fact, he may not even be the second-best guard on the floor with the way that CJ McCollum has been playing.  It’s time for the world to realize that Westbrook is not a franchise player he is a loser that knows how to fill a stat sheet. 

Westbrook entered the league as the #4 pick out of UCLA.  He was paired along-side the previous year’s #2 pick Kevin Durant, the soon to be Oklahoma City Thunder thought they had their dynamic duo that could lead them to a championship.  What they really had was two talented players that were destined for an eventual clash.  Durant and Westbrook were young enough and talented enough to get past their differences to carry them to the NBA Finals in 2011-12.  After they made their run the Thunder disintegrated into a split personality.  Westbrook did what he does, he took over despite what was best for the team.  He was unable to understand what was going to take them to the next level.  Westbrook inability to mesh with Kevin Durant has to be blamed on his own personality.  Durant was able to assimilate himself into the star studded Warriors with minimal clashing. 

With Durant gone Westbrook was signed long term to be the official face of the franchise and he has run with it.  There is no argument that he is a future hall of fame player that can do almost anything athletically on a basketball court.  When it comes time to make a big play do your really see Russell Westbrook making the big shots?  Do you see him closing out games in the biggest moments.  He has the personality of a great player and the ego of one but lacks that ability mentally to be “the guy”. 

As I watched game two last night I kept wondering where this all-time great player was, this franchise cornerstone that made it acceptable for Kevin Durant and James Harden to leave. Since Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder are 3-10 in the playoffs while its “star” has been anything but.  Russell Westbrook has shot just 38% from the field and 28% from 3 during those 13 games and last night a true leader showed what it takes mentally to be great.  The Blazers team would do anything for Damion Lillard, they play with him and for him.  The Thunder had the momentum early getting out to a nine point lead, but as the lead began to crumble Westbrook began to crumble along with it.  When his team needed him most he disappeared.  Westbrook final stat numbers are always going to be strong.  He will get some points, rebounds, assists but he lacks the traits that make a player the best.  Russell is now 30 years old, he convinced Paul George to stay in OKC, he has time to turn it around but right now he is a stat player rather than a winning player.  Russell has a way to make you believe his is one of the best in the game, that is a mirage hidden behind a stat line. 

Oh and his personality really sucks. 

NBA DFS 1.28.19

PG: Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers, $7,400 Williams is going to be popular in this matchup against the fast paced Hawks.  Fast pace and a player paying at a high level makes for big points.  Beverly is cheaper and will get his minutes but Williams is the more certain player for points. SG: Bojan Bogdanovic, Indiana Pacers, $5,600 Bojan is quietly having a solid season.With the injury to Oladipo points will be at a premium for Pacers guards.  Bojan will be looking to shoot and shoot a lot. Collison will be the chalkier play but don’t under estimate Bojan in this matchup. SF: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, $9,400 No Draymond Green will open up the floor for Durant to be more of a playmaker.  With Boogie Cousins still on a bit of a minute restriction I am looking for Durant to not only supply points tonight but also rebounds.  Double-double should be a guarantee. PF: Dwayne Dedmon, Atlanta Hawks, $5,500 Only the Suns give up more points to centers then the Los Angeles Clippers.  Stacking the Hawks bigs, (John Collins will be chalky) seems like the best play of the night.  Dedmon will be a big matchup problem for the Clips, he has a low price and even higher upside. C: Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Clippers, $7,100 Harrell is a fantasy monster. The Clippers already play at a fast pace and it will only get faster tonight against the defenseless Hawks.  Harrell’s price is a bit more than I would like but he is still a solid play at a mid-range price. G: Trey Burke, New York Knicks, $4,200 Injuries to Frank Ntilkina and Emanual Mudiay open up minutes for bothTrey Burke and Alonzo Trier.  Burke should get the start as well as the points. He is high-risk high-reward.  Hornets give up the 12th most points to PG’s. F: Dom Sabonis, Indiana Pacers, $6,600 Love centers versus the Warriors. Sabonis also has no problem running the floor if the pace quickens.  Similar to the Bojan play, there are points to be had for the Pacer and Sabonis will be there to take them. UTIL: Malik Beasley, Denver Nuggets, $4,200 No Murray tonight for the Nuggets.  With the return of Will Barton and Gary  Harris, most will stay away from Beasley.  Could be a nice play if he gets a\ large chunk of the Murray minutes.

NBA DFS Picks- December 27

Unlike most in the DFS world I really enjoy a smaller slate. Five gamers allow you go play a stars and scrubs lineup and have a great chance to win. You can highlight a few players you want to watch. Here are the picks for tonights slate.

PG: Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors ($8,900)

I am drawn to a Warriors stack after the embarasment from Christmas night. The Blazers have been underwhelming to say the least and have a serious issues guarding the three. Damian Lillard on the other end seems like a solid play but I am going heavy Warriors tonight.

SG: Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,800)

No Lebron, this becomes Ingrams team again whether the fans want it or not.

SF: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors ($9,300)

I reference my Steph Curry reasoning.

PF: Noah Vonleh, New York Knicks ($5,600)

Vonleh seems to be the only matchup the Knicks have against Giannis. He has played like the player people thought he would be coming out of Indiana. Vonleh also just put up 36 points on Christmas day against the same Bucks team he is playing tonight. Low cost for a solid matchup.

C: Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,400)

This pick could change depending on the health of Javale McGee, no matter what Zubac has been very impressive when given time to play. Centers versus Kings are also always a solid play.

G: Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles Lakers ($5,500)

Ball is a similar play to Zubac. With Rondo out he will be the primary point guard. Again PG’s versus Kings is also a solid play on most nights.

F: Gordon Hayward, Boston Celtics ($4,700)

Not gonna lie this one is a wildcard pick against a poor Houston defense. Hayward has been streaky all season, but brings multiple potential options for points. Hayward has been consistent with 25 minutes per game and could have a couple of nice matchups in this one.

UTL: Nemanja Bjelica, Sacramento Kings ($4,800)

Bjelica is a solid player and the Kings will need to use their bench playing back to back games.

I will look to make changes based on injuries. Also may look to stack more Kings/Lakers players. Want to stick with Durant and Curry as my star plays.

NBA Finals Pick

The world seems bothered by the fourth straight matchup between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. As the twitter world screams for diversity I am intrigued by this matchup.   I am intrigued because this could be the potential defining moment for a player and a team.

If the Cavaliers win Lebron James will have his first true argument that he is truly the greatest player ever to play the game.  The Cavaliers currently sit as one of the biggest underdogs in 15 years heading into the finals. Gone is Kyrie Irving — he averaged 29.4 points per game in last year’s series— and the role players that Cleveland brought in have mostly been flops. Rodney Hood has been relegated to the bench, and Jordan Clarkson has shot 30.6 percent from the field in the playoffs. Larry Nance Jr. has been effective as an energy guy off the bench, and George Hill has been a solid starter, though he’s been inconsistent. Others returning players from the 2017 Cavaliers team have been a shell of their former selves.  Kyler Korver, Tristan Thompson and JR Smith bring finals experience but other they will have to play vital roles to have a chance to pull off this epic upset.

If the Warriors can pull off their third championship in four years they can cement themselves as a dynasty.  This is not the same Warriors team the cruised into the finals in 2017 at 12-0. Kevin Durant has been has not been the dominant MVP of last season.  He has averaged 29.0 points, but his postseason shooting has been all-too human, at 47.9 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from the 3-point line. Don’t discount the importance of Durant’s defense, either, especially if Andre Iguadola’s leg contusion keeps him sidelined. Iguodala usually gets the lion’s share of LeBron duties when these teams collide, but Durant could be one of the primary options if Iggy can’t go. The Warriors will also have an interesting matchup for Steph Curry against veteran George Hill.  Hill surprisingly has a 10-4 career record against Curry while also holding a better shooting percentage in those matchups.  If Curry does struggle the Warriors will have to look to their other two All- Stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson to take on bigger roles.

This matchup has a clear advantage for the Warriors.  They have the depth and star power to sweep this series.  But there has almost been a sense of overconfidence for the Warriors all season.  When the Warriors struggle they let it effect their emotions.  Durant will most likely be taking on the task of holding down the force that is Lebron James.  If he struggles to do so, will that effect his offensive game?  This Warriors team also lacks the proven depth of the past. Relying on Kevin Looney, Quinn Cook and Swaggy P to provide solid minutes off the bench is a serious question mark.

This is the finals everyone expected to see. It is easy to say the Warriors will sweep with ease.  But let’s not jump to conclusions until the games are played.  Lebron has had a chance to rest for a few days and his legacy is on the line.  I think he can carry them to at least one victory.  I would consider myself a Lebron hater, but that does not mean I do not respect the game that masterful performances I have seen in these playoffs.  The Cavaliers do not have the depth to compete with the historically talented Warriors but I am excited to see how this series plays out.

 Warriors in 5