Hierarchy Established?

It may have taken 7 games but it looks as though Robin, in Oklahoma City’s very own Batman and Robin combination, has finally realized his place.

For some odd reason, the mentality of Kobe Bryant, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss have rolled into one man’s brain. Highlighted by a triple overtime win against the Grizzlies in game 4, it was apparent that Russell Westbrook’s ego had expanded as large as Jared before he got on Subway.

Even though the Thunder won game 4 and Westbrook scored 40, the alarm bells were ringing loud. Time after time, Westbrook felt it was his duty to play the isolation game while Batman played spectator. He took 33 shots compared to Durant’s 20, while Durant still poured in a very efficient 35 points.

Throughout the year, Westbrook has played as if he has the talent and burden Derrick Rose possesses. This has been a problem for Oklahoma but the bright lights of the NBA playoffs have magnified the situation. Westbrook had to change. Prior to game 7, Westbrook had taken 134 shots compared to Durant’s 105. That just ain’t right.

In game 7, Westbrook took 12 shots compared to Durant’s 25. Well that’s more like it.

Thunder fans better hope that this is a sign of things to come in the Western Conference Finals.

Westbrook is one of the most explosive players in the NBA but he is not one of the best. It baffles me that playing beside the league’s leading scorer hasn’t kept that massive ego from swelling. Obviously no one else in the Thunder organization has been able to keep his ego in check either and it almost cost them an early exit.

It doesn’t matter if Westbrook figured this one out on his own. All that matters is that he changed. He was able to resign himself to the fact that he is Robin and that Robin is the sidekick.

Kevin Durant showed us all that he has the heart of a champion but he couldn’t have done it without his sidekick doing his job. Westbrook had 14 assists and became one of only a select few NBA players to have put up a triple-double in a game 7.

Putting all of this on Westbrook might not completely fair because Durant has to be more assertive. Kevin Durant is the boss and Westbrook needs to know that.

Coming up as clutch as he did had to show Russell Westbrook whose team it really is.

Russell Westbrook is becoming one of the NBA’s premiere point guards but he will always be second fiddle as long as Kevin Durant is around.

Game 7 cannot be an anomaly for the Thunder. It has to become a recurring theme not only for the immediate prospects of the franchise but also for the future. It’s scary to think that Durant and Westbrook are both 22. However, the Thunder are not nearly as scary if Westbrook has any intentions of continuing his campaign to be top dog.

We all know that Batman and Robin can be a lethal team but if Robin wants to be Batman then the whole dynamic is thrown out the window. If the Oklahoma City Thunder want the future to be now, Russell Westbrook needs to decide which character he wants to play.

Hopefully he knows that there is only 1 choice.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

12 Responses to Hierarchy Established?

  1. tophatal says:

    Chris

    This was Durant’s time to shine and he did . He’s now the heir apparent in Western Conference in terms of who the best player is there at present .

    I love the fact that Posada had to backtrack like a prick and apologize to the Yankees’ organization ! How much of a dick is that guy to begin with ?

    tophatal …..

  2. Pingback: Hierarchy Established? , NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  3. agbayani says:

    Awesome post, I’m glad I’m not the only one that agrees with me on Westy. I like him more than Rose for sure, but I just miss the Kidds and Nashs! Hopefully he gets his head on straight…if they play like they did last night, they’ll be tough to beat.

  4. Robby Lim says:

    Chris, Oklahoma City has really grown this year and if they can make it to the NBA Finals all the better. Westbrook and Durant are great young talents, but someone has to give.

    Durant will always be the man in OKC and Westbrook has to be the Robin. I would also like to point out that James Harden is dong and amazing job off the bench, he has really stepped up since Oklahoma traded Jeff Green.

    On a side note, are you interested in including my site (Spurs World) http://spursworld.wordpress.com on your blogroll? I’ll do the same for you. Also follow me on twitter @RobbyLim21 and @Spurs_World I’d follow back.

    Thanks!

  5. Jake Hulsh says:

    Chris,
    You are a VERY talented writer and I really enjoy reading the work on your blog. I am offering you to join the Sports Update 360 crew because the other writers and I think that you would be a good add to our program. Please send me an Email back at jakehulsh@aol.com with the subject title as Sports Update Chris Ross.

    – Chief Editor/Administrator

  6. DJ says:

    Completely agree with what you had to say. We all know Westbrook can score. It comes natural to him, but he needs to realize what he has around him. He has the best scorer in the league in Durant, James Harden is a very talented player, and their inside guys can do some things. Westbrook still needs to look to score, but on no night should he take more shots than KD. If he is a pass first point guard, he would still score 18-20 points a game but he would average double digit assists easily

  7. As long as Westbrook continues to know his role and feeds Durant the rock, the Thunder are serious contenders considering whats left. No REAL single dominate team as far as I’m concerned.

  8. Well written Chris. I agree, Westbrook is a great player, but when you have a better player and a leader in Kevin Durant, you have to give up the ball and not be a ball hog. Westbrook is a very athletic and explosive player, but he has to compromise if he wants the Thunder to go far.

  9. I think you cross the line between fair, due criticism and bashing. I think a lot of your criticisms are true (Westbrook shooting too much, not enough of a facilitator) but questioning his talent and resolve is a unfair. I agree that Westbrook doesn’t nearly have the burden that Derrick Rose does but Westbrook’s talent is still raw whereas Rose has developed far more quickly than a lot of people thought. The best analogy for Durant and Westbrook’s struggles would probably be to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s talents. Westbrook or Pippen on about 25 other teams in the NBA they are the best player but it’s hard when you are playing along a top 3 player at the time. It took the Chicago Bulls about six years to meld together before they finally starting winning championships and you’re bashing Westbrook because of his poor decision making and the lack of cohesion between him and Durant after three? I’m all for criticizing but Westbrook is a far better talent than you are making him to be.

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