Russell Westbrook has struggled beyond the arc for his entire career, making just 30.8 percent of his attempts. He shot a career-best 34.3 percent during his MVP season in 2016-17 but he did that taking 7.2 3-pointers per game.
James Harden led the NBA in 3-pointers made the last two seasons but he is a volume shooter, not an effective one. Sure, he was able to score 61 points while going 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) from 3-point range on March 22 against the Spurs but he was a combined 3-for-31 (9.7 percent) from distance in late February, going 2-for-10, 0-for-10, and 1-of-11 against the Lakers, Hawks and Hornets, respectively.
Houston plays with a system that relies on converting 3-point shots and that won’t change with Westbrook being there, which can be an issue. Spacing can also be a problem. Westbrook and Harden are two ball-dominant players and they will have to make a sacrifice because both are almost useless off-ball and work hard to improve significantly.
While Westbrook has been criticized for his questionable shot selection and decision-making, he is one of the best playmakers in the league. The one-time NBA MVP is averaging 10.4 assists in 314 games over the last four seasons and he led the NBA in points created via direct assists in each of the last two seasons.
The Thunder have lacked consistent 3-point shooting since Kevin Durant left over three years ago but Westbrook was able to use his athletic quickness to get pass countless defenders on the way to scoring opportunities for himself or for others and the Rockets will have to find a way to exploit that while hiding his weaknesses.
Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in three straight seasons but he shot just 42.8 percent from the field and 29.0 from beyond the arc last year and his scoring and rebounding averages will likely go down with the Rockets. He led the NBA with 10.7 assists per game in 2018-19 and he should easily go Over the total set at BetOnline. I like Westbrook to average Over 8.5 assists next season at -115.
Russell Westbrook to average a triple-double during the 2019-20 regular season
(Courtesy of BetOnline)
Russell Westbrook Assists Per Game 2019-20 Regular Season
Over 8.5 assists per game -115
Under 8.5 assists per game -115
Russell Westbrook Points Per Game 2019-2020 Regular Season
Over 22.5 points per game -115
Under 22.5 points per game -115
Russell Westbrook Rebounds Per Game 2019-2020 Regular Season
Over 8.0 rebounds per game -115
Under 8.0 rebounds per game -115