Russell Westbrook had a dreadful offensive showing in Sunday’s Game 1 win over the Phoenix Suns, but he more than made up for it with a beastly performance on defense.
The Los Angeles Clippers point guard, who hit just 3-of-19 shots, matched up against the Suns’ three best perimeter players, Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul.
The results were astounding. According to NBA matchup data, in 59 combined possessions against those three stars, Westbrook gave up six points and held them to 25% shooting.
The NBA’s matchup data says Russell Westbrook defended Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul for 59 combined possessions last game…
In those possession, they combined for just 6 points on 25% from the field. pic.twitter.com/ztab8ELZn3
— Joey Linn (@joeylinn_) April 17, 2023
We’re talking about two certain future Hall of Famers in Durant and Paul. Booker, if not already a lock for that honor, is close.
Six points in 59 possessions. That’s a lot of great defense, no play bigger, obviously, than Russell Westbrook blocking Booker’s potential game-winner in the final seconds, then alertly knocking the ball off him out of bounds.
Finally, Westbrook on Booker and he comes up huge with the block to seal the game! pic.twitter.com/sP0S3C7CDw
— Michael Jagacki (@Mike_Jagacki) April 17, 2023
Say what you will about Westbrook’s spotty shooting, but he does a lot of things that help a team win.
NBA fans were amazed by Westbrook’s defensive stat.
Incredible statistic. A defensive masterclass.
— Amjad Mahmood Khan (@AmjadMKhanEsq) April 17, 2023
Welp. every dog has its day.
I’d be floored if we see that kind of defense performance from him again.
— Dax McCoy 📺 (@DaxGotFacts) April 17, 2023
— Unbiased NBA Fan (@nonbiasednbafan) April 17, 2023
— Positive Warriors Fan (@Dubs4LifeCrew) April 18, 2023
Folks said he was a locker room vampire, only cared bout his stats and wouldn’t try to do what it takes to win.
— Unruly Blake (@unrly6lackblake) April 17, 2023