The Russell Westbrook experiment in Los Angeles has largely been considered to be a work in progress at best, but Westbrook still brings value to the team in ways most people do not realize, according to stats shared recently from the page NBA News and Videos on Facebook.
Westbrook, 34, still has a ways to go before he reaches age 35, but as noted by the page, he has some of the most exciting young and prime-of-their-career players beat in one major category: shooting percentage.
Currently, Westbrook is the third leading scorer on the Lakers at 15.9 points per game, double digits behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the numbers one and two spots, respectively.
Westbrook, who has been dubbed ‘Westbrick’ by some NBA analysts for several years despite his high-scoring, stat sheet-stuffing talents, is shooting 42.3% on the season so far.
It’s not exactly the most eye-popping statistic, but it is notable for one reason: it’s a better shooting percentage than several highly-touted players, including some who are known as the best shooters in the entire NBA.
By comparison, the following players, including numerous “elite shooters,” currently have or recently had a lower percentage from the floor than Westbrook:
The Warriors legend is averaging 20.6 points, but shooting just 41.7% from the field so far for a Warriors team that has spent much of the season under the .500 mark.
The number three overall pick from the 2020 draft is averaging 23.5 points per game, but shooting just 40.9% from the field, considerably lower than Westbrook on the season.
Widely seen in the same stratosphere as long range snipers like Stephen Curry and Thompson, Young is average 27 points per game, but shooting just .1 percentage points better than Westbrook, a stat that had recently been in Westbrook’s favor.
The former NBA champion with the Raptors is known as one of the best shooters at his position of point guard, but he is currently shooting just 38.8% from the field, significantly lower than Westbrook for the time being.
A high-flying, high scorer for the Houston Rockets, Green is averaging 22.1 points, but shooting 41.6% from the floor.
What it Means for Westbrook and the Lakers
While Westbrook is a far cry from the player he used to be in Oklahoma City during his early days, his shooting stats aren’t too far off from some of the most talented shooters in the league.
As long as Westbrook continues to work on his efficiency and doesn’t try to do too much, while remaining aggressive and active engaged with the game, he has what it takes to remain a steady and valuable contributor.
— Accion_NBA (@accionnba1) January 21, 2023
The Lakers have a long ways to go before becoming one of the best teams in the West, but it’s worth keeping this perspective in mind as the group of aging but talented veterans heads toward the stretch run, with Westbrook, James, Davis and others pressing forward toward a playoff spot in a tightly contested Western Conference.
Russell Westbrook’s motor and burst is still as elite as it gets. In todays NBA it would actually be easier than ever for him to put up triple doubles and do his damage. He’s just in a box now with how the Lakers fit turned out. Still very effective though. pic.twitter.com/Fwvj77Yrtm
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) January 21, 2023