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Mike D’Antoni says Rockets need Russell Westbrook’s rebounding and athleticism

Russell Westbrook, Mike D'Antoni, Rockets

Head coach Mike D’Antoni says the Houston Rockets need Russell Westbrook’s rebounding skills and athleticism.

Westbrook is one of the most explosive point guards in NBA history, and he has averaged a triple-double three seasons in a row now. Mike D’Antoni is looking forward to the former MVP helping out the Rockets on the glass.

This past season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook averaged 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists. The eight-time All-Star recorded 57 double-doubles and 34 triple-doubles.

By adding Westbrook and former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler, the Rockets should be a better rebounding team next season. Houston was 28th in total rebounds per game in 2018-19, grabbing only 42.1 rebounds as a team. That number figures to rise with Westbrook and Chandler in the fold.

As we all know, Westbrook is a one-man fast break. He can grab the defensive rebound and go end-to-end in a blur. Westbrook’s speed makes it impossible to stop him in the open court.

The Rockets are envisioning Westbrook pushing the ball with James Harden, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker and Austin Rivers running on the wings. Once Westbrook gets into the teeth of the defense and collapses the paint, Houston’s shooters will be wide-open on the perimeter.