The Clippers’ Russell Westbrook experiment is off to a horrible begin

The Los Angeles Clippers’ Russell Westbrook experiment is off to a disastrous begin. The Clippers fell to 0-4 since signing Westbrook within the buyout market after a blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday evening on TNT. Without Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins within the lineup, the Warriors devised a game-plan to fully ignore Westbrook when the Clippers had the ball, muck up LA’s spacing, and get their offense out of sync. It labored to perfection, and it got here with some ugly clips for Westbrook’s sake.

The Warriors determined earlier than the sport that they might have Draymond “guard” Westbrook. We’re placing ‘guard’ in quotes there as a result of Green wasn’t actually defending anybody: he gave Westbrook at the very least 15-feet of house when he was on the perimeter, and dared the veteran level guard to beat him his leap shot. Westbrook shot 3-for-12 from the sphere and 0-for-5 from three-point vary on the evening.

This clip instantly went viral throughout the Warriors’ 115-91 win over the Clippers. Look at how a lot house Green selected to present Westbrook on this play.

Westbrook didn’t attempt to shoot usually regardless of being left huge open. Here’s a clip from late within the fourth quarter when the Clippers had an opportunity to make one final run to maintain the sport aggressive. Westbrook was unguarded as he introduced the ball up the courtroom, and selected to attempt to make an entry go to Paul George within the publish.

There have been two issues: the additional our bodies within the paint from the sagging protection made the go tougher, and Westbrook missed the mark. This was considered one of his 4 turnovers on the evening. Then he misplaced monitor of Jordan Poole defensive on the following play for a back-breaking three-pointer on the following possession.

When Westbrook did shoot, he was bricking every little thing. Here’s a clip from the fourth quarter when Westbrook was given two huge open nook threes, each of which he missed.

Westbrook did end with six assists on the evening. Here’s one nice entry pass to George for a bucket. Overall, although, this was his worst recreation as a Clipper.

Draymond Green talked concerning the Warriors plan to disregard Westbrook on offense after the sport.

Green confirmed respect for Westbrook in his feedback whereas additionally detailing precisely why this was an efficient game-plan: basketball gamers are taught to shoot after they’re open, however while you’re left open each play, it begins to get in your head.

It could be unfair to solely pin all the Clippers’ issues on Westbrook. Paul George completed 3-of-15 from the sphere and 1-of-8 from three-point vary within the loss. Eric Gordon shot 2-of-10 from three. Norman Powell shot 0-of-7 from three. Westbrook may have had much more than six assists if the Clippers’ shooters have been making something.

At the identical time, it’s changing into apparent Westbrook shouldn’t be a useful participant until he’s surrounded by a ton of taking pictures. Westbrook has now misplaced his final 14 video games as a starter between his time with the Lakers and Clippers.

The Lakers are 5-3 since Westbrook was traded regardless of not having LeBron James and Anthony Davis for a few of these video games. The Clippers are nonetheless looking for their first win of the Westbrook period.

Westbrook is now taking pictures 29.5 p.c from three and 67 p.c from the free throw line this season throughout his time with each Los Angeles groups. It’s merely very tough to suit a job participant right into a crew scheme if they’ll’t shoot in any respect within the fashionable NBA. There’s an extended historical past of athletic NBA level guards enhancing their jumper as they grow old and lose their explosiveness. Unfortunately, Westbrook solely appears to maintain getting worse as a shooter.

The Clippers are actually just one recreation over .500. They signed Westbrook as a result of Paul George pushed them to do it. Remember, the Lakers traded for Westbrook as a result of LeBron James pushed them to do it. The Clippers are in championship-or-bust mode this season in Year 4 of the Kawhi Leonard-George pairing. Right now, this doesn’t appear like a championship crew, and the transfer to signal Westbrook doesn’t look like serving to them.

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