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Russell Westbrook to Clippers. Does this make or break the Clippers?

Westbrook is a Clipper. It's crazy to think he's been on not 1 or even 2, but 4 teams since he left OKC. Let's just hope he can work out here for the Clippers

(Juan Ocampo / NBAE via Getty Images)


Potential Positives

Well for starters he brings something that we've desperately needed all season. What is that you might ask? Playmaking. We've needed it so badly and we finally get that from Russ. Say what you want about his shooting percentages but he does help fill a hole we had in our offense and that's a huge plus. On top of that he helps in rebounding. I know he's a point guard and all that but he is a triple double machine for a reason. He can do everything. Just nothing that he can do is spectacular. He provides a nice contrast as well with Bones Hyland who, depending on what the Clippers decide to do, can either provide a primary ball handler on the starting lineup or a leader in the bench unit. Either way I think he has the potential to fit in very well with this team. Prior to this signing there was never a primary ball handler on the team and that did not help the offense. Players were taking contested shots or just hoping to get catch and shoot opportunities. Obviously with the Clippers being 4th in the West it wasn't so bad to the point where we sold the season. But it could've also won us a lot more games and potentially even sprung us into the top 2 in seeding. Overall a lot of potential here.


Potential Negatives

The big discrepancy here with Westbrook is his scoring. He doesn't do it efficiently and can sometimes just be a shot chucker. He has his nights for sure, but if Kawhi, PG and others aren't hitting. Then you can most of the time count on Westbrook to not make his shots effectively. He's past his star days in the league and even if he is still a solid player he is still on the older side and is a lot more prone to bad games and stretches of subpar play. His finishing isn't consistent, he can't shoot well and he turns over the ball at an alarming rate. Unlike with the Lakers I don't see fit as an issue here. But with Westbrook's track record since he left OKC it does worry me whether or not he will be able to make it work. He was able to make it work to an extent with Houston and even Washington if you really stretch an arm and a leg out that far. But he hasn't been able to put it together for a championship caliber team in awhile and that is concerning. Overall I don't see as many negatives as positives here. But I do think we should acknowledge the faults and the fact that he could flop here with the Clippers.


My expectations

I feel like expectations of Westbrook being one of the best players on the team behind PG and Kawhi are way too high. When Westbrook was with the Lakers despite having a ok season after a horribly rocky start, he still wasn't even the 3rd, 4th or even 5th best player on the team. People acknowledged he was better off the bench and that he fit better there. But coming to the Clippers he might get his starting job back. His role here should primarily be to run the offense and carry the tempo. If he can do that well then I consider my expectations met. I don't rule out the possibility of him turning into a better scorer as he is primarily a finisher and the Clippers have some shooting to open up lanes for him. But again, that's now what I'm expecting nor asking from Westbrook. He's 34 years old and I think sometimes people forget that because 2 seasons ago he was putting up a triple double with the Wizards and made the playoffs. He's past his prime and is at that point in his career where he is a straight role player. And I don't think anyone else should expect anything more or less from him. Overall I'm really excited about this pickup and what it could entail. But i'm still keeping it real with the fact he could flop.







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