Rockets’ Russell Westbrook is about to go bonkers when NBA restarts, predicts Mike D’Antoni
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni made a not-so-bold prediction ahead of the restart of the 2019-20 season. With less than a full month left before the NBA restarts at Walt Disney World in Orlando, D’Antoni predicts his star point guard Russell Westbrook will be even more efficient in his return, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
Westbrook only knows one speed, and that’s playing like a bat out of hell every time he takes the floor. Yet the veteran point man is attempting what would be a career high in field goals if it wasn’t for his lone wolf MVP season in 2016-17. He’s shooting a career-best 47.4% from the floor while attempting the fewest 3-pointers per game in seven seasons.
While Westbrook is still shooting a ghastly 25.4% from deep — his lowest since his second season in the league — he has become a more efficient all-around shooter by attacking the rim with reckless abandon and finishing more consistently at the foul line after a two-year nosedive at the charity stripe. This was especially true in the months leading up to the suspension of the season, with Russ shooting a sterling 52.2% from the field in January, 54.9% in February, and 48.8% in March.
D’Antoni is expecting that not only to continue but to progress as the Rockets play out the remaining eight games of the regular season and head into the postseason.
It’s hard to fathom Westbrook doing any better than he has for the Rockets with his averages of 27.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game while playing next to fellow former MVP James Harden. But if there is a notch above, Westbrook is sure to reach it once the season resumes, at least D’Antoni thinks so.
The Rockets enter the restart with a 40-24 record, which is sixth in the Western Conference.
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