Russell Westbrook saw his OKC Thunder got torched by Real Madrid for 142 in the pre-season opener and while they didn’t do that bad offensively themselves (137 points), giving up that many points is somehow unheard of in the NBA. Westbrook offered an explanation that ended up more like an exaggerated comment that somehow made sense (via Fred Katz of Norman Transcript):
Thought this quote from Russell Westbrook about how offenses in Europe “are 10 times better than NBA offense” was interesting: pic.twitter.com/Ryspbd7LCC
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) October 8, 2016
“I think one thing people don’t realize is guarding teams in Europe,” Russell Westbrook prefaced. “Their offenses are 10 times better than NBA offense just because they move around a lot. A lot of movement and not as much talent so they have to do different things to be able to score the basketball.”
In a way, Westbrook’s observation is correct (although 10 times really is a hyperbole). While “talent” is subjective, European players are definitely more skilled, as in their big men learn early how to shoot, pass, dribble, those kinds of things. In the United States, more often than not, bigs are bigs and guards are guards.
Westbrook implied that NBA players would often just rely heavily on talent and not on their basketball skills, per se. (Although I have a feeling the Spurs and Warriors would beg to disagree). If somehow the NBA guys play the right way all the time, then we would be watching pretty much perfect basketball.
Photo: AP Photo/Darren Abate