Russell Westbrook is the reason Andre Roberson doesn’t rebound anymore
It’s no secret that Russell Westbrook is a do-it-all type of player.
The Oklahoma City Thunder guard led the NBA with 18 triple-doubles, the most the league had seen in a single season over the past 50 seasons. The 27-year-old averaged an eye-popping 23.5 points, 10.4 assists and 7.8 rebounds per game in 2015-16.
However, Westbrook’s dominance on the stat sheet has been at the detriment of some of his teammates’ numbers—notably Andre Roberson.
Bobby Chancellor of SB Nation has an interesting article discussing how Westbrook’s style of play can sometimes hurt his team. Chancellor has a quote from Roberson detailing why he doesn’t attempt to rebound anymore:
“When Russ goes crashing into the lane, he tends to be slow getting up court. Whether he falls down, complains to the ref, or just jogs back, he tends to trail the play. Roberson, in an interview yesterday, he even said this is why he doesn’t rebound as much as he used to. “Russell’s great at attacking, getting downhill, causing havoc in the paint. We gotta have somebody come back and stop the ball, because sometimes he’ll fall to the ground. They try to get it out quick, and somebody’s gotta stop the ball on the fast break.””
Chancellor states why this ends up hurting the Thunder at times:
“Because Kawhi is usually guarding Russ, he ends up deep in the paint at the change of possession. As San Antonio pushes, Roberson has to stop the ball for Russ, and ends up guarding Tony Parker for that possession. Russ ends up guarding Kawhi, and you can guess the results: someone on the court is getting free points.”
Despite some of the bad that comes with Westbrook’s style of play, he is arguably one of the top five players in the game. If it wasn’t for Stephen Curry, the Thunder star would widely be considered the top point guard in the NBA.
So while Roberson’s rebounding numbers may suffer as a result, I think he’ll live with it considering all of the positive things Westbrook brings to the table.