This is a continuation of my preview of each important player outside of LeBron and Durant in this year’s 2012 NBA Finals.
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
G – Russell Westbrook: Notice that instead of putting a PG or a SG, I simply placed a G representing Westbrook’s basketball position. In my opinion, Westbrook is a true shooting guard in the NBA. However, there is no other fast paced player in the Thunder’s team that can play point and run the ball from end to end finish. Harden may be the better play maker and the better decision maker in the team for that PG position, but even though Westbrook may at times make bad decisions he is still the team’s PG. Why? Well, even though he can’t pass very well or make the right play for the specific situation, Westbrook is the, I would say, headmaster of the Thunder’s fast break attack. If you want a point guard leading a forceful charge during a fast break, Westbrook is the guy and not Harden. Now this is the tricky and confusing part. When it becomes a slow paced game, much like against the Spurs, the Thunder must and should rely on Harden to bring up the ball while Westbrook waits on the wing or wherever he is needed to be, just not making the play making. This is when Westbrook becomes a great shooting guard. Westbrook hasn’t been able to do very well on the half court as he tends to slow down and would end up making a bad decision by either taking a stupid shot or giving the ball to the defenders. However, if Westbrook plays at the SG position he becomes a huge threat because when Harden or Durant slashes through the paint or work their way on the opposite wing, Westbrook can easily cut through on the weak side and make either a lay-up or an emphatic dunk. Going up against Chalmers will be an easier task for Westbrook, although he hasn’t utilized his big size against small guards, like Parker in the Western Conference Finals. So that is one thing Westbrook has to use to his advantage when going up against Chalmers. On other hand, if it’s Wade guarding Westbrook, Westbrook will now have to really play smarter and not make costly turnovers which would lead to a rapid fast break.. You definitely don’t want to do that against the Heat just as the Heat would not want to do that with the Thunder.
SG – Dwyane Wade: I’ll keep this one short. How? To answer the question on what Wade needs to do is simple: Play the same way he does in the 2nd half in the 1st half. LeBron can’t do it alone with Wade making turnovers and missing good/bad shots. To answer how important and how vital Dwyane Wade is and what things he can do … well … just click on these links:
Hope you enjoyed reading all my non-LeBron and non-Durant player reviews. To find a full compilation of these player reviews just click on this link –> LINK. It will lead you to my personal general NBA blog, THEONBA. Enjoy the Finals!