Russell Westbrook
(Photo: Mark D. Smith, USA TODAY Sports)

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” well however you take that quote that sums up my thoughts on this weeks edition of Man Crush Monday: Russell Westbrook as I respectfully fill in for our very own kmcquade9. Now in basketball Westbrook has all the skills and talents that make him the superstar that he is today, even when he is shooting just 7-21. I’m gonna go ahead and digest what I’ve seen so far from him in this year’s playoffs, and explain to you why the Thunder will go as far as Westbrook will take them.

Game 6 has finally come to an end, and the Oklahoma City Thunder have shocked the basketball world, and fans all around the globe, as the Thunder head to their first Western Conference Finals appearance since 2014 when they were eliminated by the Spurs. Westbrook is coming off a strong performance (28 points) as well as Durant (37 points), but what some people don’t see, is that no matter how many points Durant is going off for, unless he’s dropping 50, without a focused and determined Russell Westbrook, the Thunder will have to look elsewhere for help. It’s Game 1 of the WCF in Oracle Arena. The Thunder are coming in losing twelve straight game 1’s on the road as they get ready to take on Golden State. The game got off to an ugly start as they trailed by 13 at the half, and Westbrook had only 3 points. Both Durant and Westbrook had a poor shooting performance, but Durant was able to finish with (26 points 10-30 FG) and Westbrook finished with (27 points 7-21 FG). Westbrook exploded in the second half giving his team the lift they needed and scored 24 of his 27 points in the second half as the Thunder pull out a surprising victory which was much needed if they were going to have any chance in the series.

Now on to Game 2. I’m not sure what the blueprint was for OKC in game 2, because they completely fell apart. Yes Durant finished with a strong performance (29 points 11-18 FG 2-4 3FG) and Westbrook poured in (16 points 5-14 FG and was 1-5 3FG). Although Westbrook did have 12 assists in Game 2, it could’ve been a lot more intriguing if Westbrook would’ve made more of his shots, and had been more consistent with the ball. OKC went on to get blown out in this game 91-118.

Four days later they were back in Chesapeake arena for the first time since Game 6 where the Thunder knocked off the Spurs. It’s Game 3 and the adrenaline is rushing for both teams. We got to see a high scoring 1st qtr as OKC lead GS 34-28 and that was pretty much all she wrote for GS. Durant finished with yet another sensational performance (33 points 10-15 FG) and Westbrook wasn’t so bad himself as he electrified the crowd hitting his shots, along with his incredible dunks as he chipped in (30 points 10-19 FG), to end the night. That’s my point. No matter how many shots he takes to get there as long as Westbrook keeps getting the ball, and those looks, eventually he’s gonna start lighting it up on the board.

I truly believe the Thunder will go as far as Westbrook will take them. Durant is going to do his part, but for the train to continue rolling and maybe so into the Finals, Westbrook is going to have to be a big part of what OKC does offensively and defensively going down the stretch. We’ll see if Westbrook and the Thunder can continue rolling as Game 4 comes to us Tuesday 9:00 PM ET.

Orlando covers the NBA for MFST and you can follow him on Twitter @itslandoyo.

https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/635884929128483169-2016-01-15-Russell-Westbrook.jpg?fit=1024%2C538&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/635884929128483169-2016-01-15-Russell-Westbrook.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Orlando TorresBasketballGolden State WarriorsNBANorthwest DivisionOklahoma City ThunderPacific DivisionRecent PostsSan Antonio SpursSouthwest DivisionGolden State Warriors,Kevin Durant,NBA,Oklahoma City Thunder,Russell Westbrook,San Antonio Spurs'Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard' well however you take that quote that sums up my thoughts on this weeks edition of Man Crush Monday: Russell Westbrook as I respectfully fill in for our very own kmcquade9. Now in basketball Westbrook has all the skills and talents...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?