Russell Westbrook’s Epic Night Ends In Folly
Russell Westbrook put on a show, scoring a career playoff high 43, points and in a game where his talent and skill should be remembered, his follies will once again be pointed out first. In the last five minutes, Westbrook had two costly turnovers, a few bad shots and a mental lapse that cost his team the game. With less than 20 seconds left and the Heat up 3, Westbrook fouled Mario Chalmers, despite less than 5 seconds left on the shot clock. With good defense the Thunder could have had a chance to try and tie the game on a final possession, but Westbrook foolishly thought that the Heat had more time on the clock and fouled Chalmers. This put the game out of reach and now the Thunder are down 3-1 and could be eliminated Thursday night in Miami.
For the majority of the game, Westbrook was simply unstoppable and carried the Thunder in a very close game, but his mistakes were simply horrific. This is not the first time his mental errors have hurt Westbrook and the Thunder, but a player of his stature cannot cost his team a victory at this point of the season. He is still quite young, at 23, but it seems that his basketball IQ and awareness on the court have not yet reached the level of his supreme talent. There is no denying that Westbrook is one of the premier stars in the league and few match his scoring and athletic abilities, but someone of his caliber cannot keep making such costly mistakes. Only time will tell if Westbrook gets these problems fixed, but for now, the game of his life will only be remembered for his mistakes. He has a chance to redeem himself by trying to bring the series back to Oklahoma City for games 6 and 7, but if not, Westbrook, will be the goat of these 2012 playoffs.
It will be quite interesting to see what happens next, but for now the Thunder are facing elimination at the house of the enemy and they will need Westbrook if they are to win. Hopefully this young star has a short memory and bounces back, but for now all OKC is left with is a bunch of what ifs and Westbrook will draw the ire of fans and media alike. Yes, this is a horrible defeat for the Thunder and a horrific night for Westbrook, but the series is not over and if Westbrook comes back strong, the Thunder can win, they actually can.