In Thursday's game against the Clippers, Draymond Green and the Warriors employed a radical defensive strategy against Russell Westbrook. Mar 2, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers point guard Russell Westbrook (0) between plays against the Golden State Warriors during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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.

[Joey Linn, Sports Illustrated]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.