Portland Trail Blazers: Ranking the top 10 point guards in the NBA

Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard guards Steph Curry (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Portland Trail Blazers - Damian Lillard guards Steph Curry (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) /
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Portland Trail Blazers
#4 Russell Westbrook (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Scouting Report. 2.51 RPM. russell westbrook. 4. player. Pick Analysis. 22.9 PTS, 10.7 AST. 169

Russell Westbrook is truly an enigma.

Never before has the NBA seen a player capable of putting up video game numbers not only on any given night, but across every given night in a grueling 82 game season. On the other hand, no player in league history has consistently fallen short in the playoffs with the likes of future NBA legends at his side like Kevin Durant, James Harden and Paul George.

Oftentimes when a player’s talent fails to translates to wins, it’s because they lack an inner motor and determination to be the alpha male on the court. Russell Westbrook is not that. He is the living embodiment of grit and determination. Even a torn meniscus and repeated knee injuries couldn’t prevent Westbrook from becoming the iron man he is today.

Westbrook has only sat out 14 games over the course of the last four years, earning four All-NBA and All-Star selections each. He has led the league in assists in both of the last two years as well as won scoring titles in 2015 and 2017. In the latter year, Westbrook also received the crowning achievement on his resume and took home the 2017 MVP award after averaging his first triple-double (now three years in the running) across an entire season.

Despite his statistical accolades, it just hasn’t translated to playoff success. In each of the last three years, the Thunder have been dealt an early first round defeat in the playoffs. In 2012, the three MVP’s combined in Westbrook, Durant and Harden were tossed aside handily in just five games in the NBA Finals.

Now, Russ and Harden will try to run it back one more time. Despite a tough loss in the Western Conference Semi-Finals to the Golden State Warriors, the Rockets were still probably the second best team in the West. With the Warriors in decline and Westbrook a clear improvement over Chris Paul, now is the time for him to prove he has championship DNA.