It’s a blast to watch Russell Westbrook play basketball.
A typical Westbrook sequence involves him grabbing a rebound, zooming down the court, fearlessly rocketing skyward and tossing down a jam over a defender who’s 6 inches taller than him.
Indeed, Westbrook is fun to watch, but it’s no fun trying to stop him.
In a recent piece for The Player’s Tribune, Portland Trailblazers guard C. J. McCollum detailed what it’s like trying to guard the live wire that is Russell Westbrook:
He’s a physical specimen—a freak in terms of athleticism. But he’s also got the most aggressive mentality in the league. He’s a dog. He’s always in attack mode. Defending Klay [Thompson] is kind of like running uphill. Defending Russ is like standing still at the bottom of a hill while Russ is barrelling down the hill at 90 miles an hour. Russ gets the defense on their heels in all kinds of ways. His ability to change directions and jump is unlike anything the NBA has ever seen.
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The Thunder and the Blazers clash four times every regular season, so McCollum knows first-hand that guarding Westbrook can be a nightmare. Now that Kevin Durant has joined Golden State, OKC has officially become the Russell Westbrook show. In his first game of the regular season, Westbrook dropped 32 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists.