Oklahoma City Thunder head coach, Billy Donovan, expressed his complete trust in star player, Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook averaged a triple double on the season and broke the NBA single season record for triple doubles. After a 115-111 loss to the Houston Rockets in Game Two of their first round playoff series, some have been questioning the brilliance Westbrook has shown throughout the season. Westbrook went 4-18 shooting from the field in the fourth quarter of the Game Two loss. Donovan, however, expressed the utmost confidence in him.
“I have an enormous amount of trust and confidence after being with Russell this season for 82 games and seeing the ways he’s closed out games and different things that he’s done,” said Donovan. “I trust him when he’s got the ball in terms of making decisions. Sometimes, when the ball goes in the basket, people have a tendency to say, ‘Wow! This was just an unbelievable performance!’ And ‘Is he the best closer in the game?’ And then when they don’t go in, it’s gonna be, ‘Did he take too many shots?”
The Thunder were outscored in the game by 15 points when Westbrook was not on the court. James Harden, who is rivaling Westbrook in the league Most Valuable Player race, has gained a lot of praise for having won the first two games in the series. The Rockets outscored the Thunder by two points when Harden was on the bench.
“Let’s be honest,” said Donovan. “When Russell has been off the floor for us, there’s been a differential.”