For Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni, if opposing teams continue fielding centers against Russell Westbrook, then the former MVP will get in the Hall of Fame a lot quicker.
Per Mark Berman of Fox 26, D’Antoni shared his thoughts after the Rockets’ heartbreaking 114-113 loss to the Utah Jazz on Sunday. In the defeat, Westbrook dropped 39 points on 18-of-33 shooting from the field.
Mike D’Antoni on if teams keep trying to guard Russell Westbrook with centers: “I think Russell will get in the Hall of Fame a lot quicker.” pic.twitter.com/E1FZc4MVZ8
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 10, 2020
All game long, Westbrook aggressively drove to the hoop. Two of his points showcased his brute strength and willpower over two-time Defensive Player of the Year awardee Rudy Gobert. For the UCLA standout, shot-blocker or not, he’ll get to the rim and finish.
Russ attacks every opponent the same way 😤
(via @SalmanAliNBA) pic.twitter.com/T3kq7XJzv9
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 10, 2020
In the previous game, a win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Westbrook had 41 points. This was even more impressive since the Purple and Gold house some of the best defenders in the paint such as Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard.
Of course, these mismatches were made possible when the Rockets surprisingly traded away center Clint Capela. Analysts quickly deemed this trade as one of the most foolish ones to date. Capela had been a key part of the team’s success for the past few years.
But from the looks of it, the last laugh belongs to Mike D’Antoni and the Rockets. With the paint wide open, Russell Westbrook has been beasting and feasting on offense.
On Tuesday, they snapped the Boston Celtics’ seven-game winning streak. Westbrook finished with 36 points on 13-of-23 from the field and 10-of-13 from the free-throw line.