The Russell Westbrook experiment with the Los Angeles Clippers has not gone well. With a lopsided defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night on TNT, the Clippers dropped to 0-4 since signing Westbrook on the buyout market. The Warriors came up with a game plan to totally disregard Westbrook when the Clippers had the ball, mess up LA’s spacing, and throw their offence out of whack without Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins in the starting lineup. That was flawless and included some unsightly footage for Westbrook’s benefit.
Prior to the game, the Warriors opted to have Draymond “defend” Westbrook. We’re putting “guard” in quotations because Green wasn’t actually guarding anybody; when Westbrook was on the perimeter, he had at least 15 feet of room around him and challenged him to beat him with a jump shot. During the night, Westbrook had a 3-for-12 field goal percentage and a 0-for-5 three-point shooting percentage.
Just after the Warriors defeated the Clippers 115-91, this video footage went viral. Look at the amount of room Green gave Westbrook on this play.
Despite being given several opportunities to shoot, Westbrook seldom did so. This is a video from the last minutes of the fourth quarter, when the Clippers had a final opportunity to keep the game close. Westbrook decided to attempt to make an entry pass to Paul George in the post since he was unprotected as he moved the ball up the floor.
There were two issues: Westbrook missed the target, and the additional men in the paint from the slack defence made the throw more difficult. His four turnovers during the evening included this one. When Jordan Poole made a backbreaking three-pointer on the next possession, he lost sight of Poole defensively on the succeeding play.
When Westbrook did attempt a shot, he consistently missed. Here is a video of Westbrook missing both of his wide-open corner three-point attempts in the fourth quarter. Westbrook did end the night with six assists. This is a great bucket admission pass to George. Yet overall, this was his poorest performance as a Clipper.