Contrary to what some prominent people want you to believe the Oklahoma City Thunder need Russell Westbrook. In particular his rebounding ability.
The Thunder fell to the Minnesota Timberwolves 117-119 with Westbrook only recording five rebounds with only one coming on the offensive side. This season when Westbrook records 10 or more rebounds (19) the Thunder are 11-8 in those games. Last season Westbrook recorded 10 or more rebounds 44 times with the Thunder going 29-15. In Westbrooks incredible MVP season, Westbrook pulled in 10 or more rebounds 54 times with the Thunder winning 36 of them.
Westbrook is currently ranked 13th in the league for rebounds with an average of 10.8 per game the next guard on the list is Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons who is ranked 20th with 9.1 per game. For the past two seasons, Westbrook has finished 10th in the league for rebounds averaging 10.1 and 10.7 (MVP season) rebounds per game. When Russell Westbrook gets the rebound it adds another dimension to the Thunders offense. When Westbrook pulls down the rebound and pushes the ball up the court with his incredible pace it puts opposition defense under so much pressure and disrupts their ability to set up their defensive plays especially when Westbrook is hitting teammates on the move towards the basket or he makes the decision to attack the paint and go to the hole himself or dish the ball out to open shooters like Paul George, Alex Abrines or Terrance Ferguson or find his big man in the paint like Jerami Grant and Steven Adams for the dunk. Here is former teammate Carmelo Anthony talking about the benefits.
No matter what critics try to say about Westbrook and his rebounding, stats don’t lie. The Oklahoma City Thunder win when Russell Westbrook goes up and gets the ball and starts the Thunder’s offense. Don’t believe me, I’ll let him tell you.