Westbrook Named to Western Conference All-Star Team
The All-Star reserves are selected via a vote of NBA head coaches in their respective conference, but a coach cannot vote for a player he coaches.
Westbrook will be making his second appearance in the annual game that pits the league’s top players from each conference against one another. Now in his fourth season in the NBA, Westbrook has already been named Second Team All-NBA and First Team All-Rookie in addition to his two All-Star selections.
“Russell is very aggressive and he puts a lot of pressure on the defense by attacking the rim and getting to the paint,” Brooks said. “And his pull-up game is right on point right now. He has to continue to do that. That’s one of the reasons that we win games, the pressure that he puts on the defense every time down court. He play-makes and gets guys involved, and that’s Russell at his best.”
This season Westbrook is the league’s seventh leading scorer at 22.3 points per game, and he also averages 5.9 assists and 4.8 rebounds while providing hard-nosed perimeter defense. During Westbrook’s first three seasons, he became one of only five players in NBA history to record 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds through three NBA seasons, joining a group that includes Chris Paul, LeBron James, Anfernee Hardaway and Oscar Robertson.
Westbrook has averaged 29.5 points per game over the past two contests, both last-minute victories over Western Conference foes. In his last 15 games, Westbrook has scored 20-plus points on 13 occasions. He is shooting the highest field-goal percentage of his career (46 percent) and is also averaging a career-high 2.0 steals and 3.4 defensive rebounds per game. His overall focus, dedication and intensity have provided an important attitude to the Thunder and he has been a very positive influence in the locker room.
“He’s been really good. He had good stretches last year, but he’s playing great,” Thunder forward Nick Collison said. “He’s just such a unique player with his skill set and ability to physically overpower guys. There are not a lot of guys that can do that. Late in games Kevin (Durant) has been hitting game-winners, but (Russell) has been getting big shots in the last two minutes, which are just as important.”