More games, more triple-doubles for Russell Westbrook. So, what can the Clippers do? Over at Bleacher Report, I wrote on the good and bad of Russ and some of the things the Clippers can do to try to contain him in the future. Click here to read the whole piece. Here is an excerpt:
The Grizzlies found a way to execute their anti-Russ defense as well as anyone else. Part of that had to do having two First-Team All-Defense-caliber players in Conley and Mark Gasol. Some of it falls on coach Dave Joerger, as well.
The Clippers, though, have different personnel and other circumstances. And they haven’t been able to execute the Westbrook defense when Chris Paul is off the floor.
Let’s face it: Darren Collison is just about the last guy you want guarding Westbrook. He’s scrawny, gets caught up on screens like anactual worm on a fishhook, rotates late (or not at all) when he needs to help, and allows bigger guards to overpower him.
And guess what? Westbrook definitely counts as a “bigger guard.”
So, in Game 2, when Paul exited the game earlier than expected with two first-quarter fouls, Collison entered and OKC started to lick its chops.
Hmmmm, how can we take advantage of Darren Collison? I know, let’s just keep attacking him in every way possible.
So, that’s what the Thunder did. Again and again and again, Westbrook got the ball in isolations and post-ups on Collison, and he killed him.
It wasn’t just about Russ’ scoring, but also the Clippers’ inability to guard him as a team. He’d drive to the hoop, and a defender would have to come over and help, leaving shooters open in the corner or on the wings.