Nov 18, 2015; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts after being fouled on a made shot against the New Orleans Pelicans during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
1. Contain Russell Westbrook
Athletically, Russell Westbrook can get to any spot on the floor. What he’s done a better job of in 2015-16 than he did in 2014-15 is knowing when he should and shouldn’t look for his shot.
Matched up with Jose Calderon, it’s safe to say Westbrook is going to be looking for his shot.
With or without Kevin Durant, Westbrook is a threat to go off at any given moment. He won the scoring title in 2014-15 and is averaging an identical 28.1 points per game in 2015-16.
The major difference from one season to the next: Westbrook is scoring and shooting with significantly more efficiency.
Westbrook leads the league in assists, which makes his scoring all the more impressive. He’s also averaging an unfathomable 5.1 turnovers per game, however, which is something New York can exploit.
It’s impossible to shut Westbrook down, but if New York can capitalize on Westbrook’s tendency to turn the ball over, it can win this game.