Westbrook on fire after slow start

Ed Davis also is hot, but will J.R. Smith and Mike Conley continue to struggle?

Updated: January 8, 2013, 2:42 PM ET
By David Thorpe | ESPN Insider
Russell WestbrookLayne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty ImagesAfter a slow start, Russell Westbrook is making shots and dishing them out too.

Today, if you want to see how a player is playing in a particular season, you can just go to ESPN.com and click on his stats for a picture of the season's performance to date. But averages, or even advanced metrics that account for minutes and possessions, don't tell anything close to the whole story.

Every NBA player's season is a roller coaster. Some players see bigger and more frequent dips than others. With two months of the season in the books, here's a look at a couple of guys who I think are showing signs of life after slow starts, as well as a pair who might be coming back to earth after a terrific first two months.

Signs of life

Russell Westbrook | PG | Oklahoma City Thunder

To put it bluntly, Westbrook played like a man who had to score 30 points a game for his team to win as the season opened. His talent enabled him to get off any shot he wanted, but he did not make many. In November, Westbrook made just 41 percent of his 18 shots per game and just 33 percent of his four 3-point attempts a game. In December, he shot even more (over 19 a game) with even fewer makes, at a 39 percent clip, despite taking fewer 3-pointers and making a few more (36 percent). He wasn't an unconscious chucker, but on many possessions, no one else on his team touched the ball.