Westbrook's troubles in transition

Despite reputation, Thunder guard greatly struggles in the transition game

Updated: February 4, 2013, 12:43 PM ET
By Joe Kaiser | ESPN Insider
Russell Westbrook Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsRussell Westbrook would benefit from driving to the basket more often and taking fewer jumpers.

At one point or another, probably not too long ago on a highlight segment, you've seen Russell Westbrook deliver one of his patented coast-to-coast specials.

When it happens, it's something you don't forget.

Usually it starts with a turnover or a defensive rebound, then it picks up steam somewhere near midcourt and by the end of the play the muscular 6-foot-3 point guard is catapulting himself at the rim for another vicious, rim-rocking throwdown.

No other current player -- not even the NBA's other athletic point guards like Derrick Rose, John Wall, Kyrie Irving, Ty Lawson, Rajon Rondo, Eric Bledsoe or even Nate Robinson -- comes close to finishing in the electrifying fashion that Westbrook does on a regular basis.

That's why it's so surprising, then, that a closer look via Synergy Sports Technology reveals a troubling trend: The transition game has consistently been a major weakness for Westbrook, at least whenever he decides to try and take it upon himself to score.

Believe it or not, the transition game is actually far and away the least efficient part of Westbrook's offensive repertoire, and has been since he entered the league back in 2008.


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Joe Kaiser

Fantasy, Insider