Might as well talk about this while the bodies are still warm, right?
As we all sat back and watched the NBA playoffs unfold before our very eyes, we saw Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook play integral parts in their teams journey to success this season. Both were all-stars, both were members of Team USA, and both have a history with one another that goes back to their collegiate days. However, the narrative that's been written in these playoffs would suggest that one is not like the other.
As the big homie Lee Corso would say, "Not so fast my friend."
This goes back to what I initially saw back in New York with the World Basketball Festival last summer. When Coach K executed his strategy with Team USA, we saw the old man that is Chauncey Billups run the show for the red, white and blue. What were Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook doing? Running the fast break, playing defense, and basically playing off-guard and getting to the rim. Why? Because Coach K knew that the collective basketball IQ's of Rose and Westbrook just wasn't there yet. Not that they couldn't get better, but his best option to win was to roll with the old man, period.
(Side note: When Ken and I went to NYC for the World Basketball Festival, I literally asked Coach K this question...well, it was a long-winded one much like the questions I ask on The UC Show. Needless to say, Coach K clowned the shit out of me and put me in my place. I have video of this, remind me to put it up.)
Yes, Derrick Rose is the MVP, and I think almost everyone would immediately think to say that Rose is better than Westbrook. However, what does Rose do that's better than Westbrook, really? Physically, there's nothing Rose can do that Westbrook can't. They've both elevated their shooting ability from mediocre to average. They are the one-man fast break. They both play mediocre on the ball defense but are active in the passing lanes. However, where you'd have to an edge to Rose for having better court vision, you'd have to give credit to Westbrook for being an aggressive rebounder and being assertive...
...yeah, assertive. That could also be considered idiotic.
Why? Because unlike Derrick Rose, the homie Westbrook actually has competent talent around him. He has Durant and Harden to play with, and yet Westbrook looks down on them like a 5th grader playing ball with a bunch of 3rd graders. He's not passing the ball to them, he looks down on them like, "I got this homie" and try's to make hero plays on a consistent basis. Its the type of thing that will make you want to stick yourself like Pretty Tony did.
The decision-making of both have been ridiculous in the conference finals. Part of this lies at the feet of Scott Brooks and Tom Thibodeau for running mediocre offensive schemes, but this takes time as well. Rose and Westbrook are going to have to learn to be better floor generals, its paramount to their teams success. If you took your energy slandering Westbrook for his play, then you must send some of that to Rose as well. I understand Rose has less to work with, but playing point guard is still playing point guard. Rose struggled, period. Westbrook? He played like an idiot, period.
You know what though...I think Chicago and OKC will be alright.
#0 = #1
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