Austin Rivers excited for Russell Westbrook to bring his fast pace play to the Rockets
Westbrook is one of the fastest players in the NBA. He’s a blur in the open court, impossible to stay in front of and can get to the rim at will while finishing in heavy traffic.
Austin Rivers sees Westbrook fitting in nicely with the Rockets since the former MVP brings a new dimension to the team.
“I think it’s going to be great. People I think are questioning it because of the ball dominance of him and James [Harden]. But James’ style is so completely different than Russell. We were one of slowest teams in the league last year, for people that don’t know. People usually don’t think that, because we’re top two or three in scoring every year,” Rivers said on a new episode of the Behind the Baller podcast, via Rockets Wire.
“But we are one of the slower teams because the majority of our style is one on one. It’s effective, but now that we have Russ who plays at an extremely fast pace, it’ll be such a good mix. We’ll have both. We’ll have that style where you have James and Eric [Gordon] and myself, and guys that are really good one on one guys, and then we’ll have Russell getting the boards and we’re going.”
When Russell Westbrook is pushing the ball in the open court, he’s going to collapse the defense when he gets to the basket, which will free up the Rockets shooters for wide-open looks from beyond the arc.
You don’t average a triple-double three years in a row without being a special talent. Westbrook put up 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists in 2018-19 while shooting 42.8 percent from the field, 29.0 percent from beyond the arc and 65.6 percent from the free-throw line.
The Rockets expect Westbrook to shoot the ball better with them since he’ll have more space to shoot playing alongside Harden, Rivers and Eric Gordon.