Russell Westbrook experiment with Clippers starts terribly

The Los Angeles Clippers’ experiment with Russell Westbrook is off to a terrible start. Despite being left wide open on offense, Westbrook is still hurting the team. The Clippers have lost all four games since signing Westbrook in the buyout market. In their most recent game against the Golden State Warriors, the Warriors completely ignored Westbrook when the Clippers had the ball, mucking up their spacing and getting their offense out of sync. Westbrook shot poorly, going 3-for-12 from the field and 0-for-5 from three-point range. Draymond Green guarded Westbrook with at least 15-feet of space on the perimeter, daring him to beat him with his jump shot. Westbrook only managed six assists on the night and had four turnovers.

The Warriors’ plan to ignore Westbrook on offense was effective because players are taught to shoot when they’re open. However, when you’re left open every play, it starts to get in your head. It would be unfair to solely blame Westbrook for the Clippers’ problems. Other players, such as Paul George, also had poor performances. Westbrook is now shooting 29.5 percent from three and 67 percent from the free throw line this season across his time with both Los Angeles teams. It’s becoming clear that Westbrook is not a helpful player unless he’s surrounded by a ton of shooting.

The Clippers signed Westbrook because Paul George pushed them to do it, but the move doesn’t appear to be helping them. The team is in championship-or-bust mode this season, but right now, they don’t look like a championship team. Westbrook’s shooting struggles are making it difficult to fit him into the team scheme in the modern NBA. The Lakers traded for Westbrook because LeBron James pushed them to do it, but even they have been more successful without him. Westbrook has now lost his last 14 games as a starter between his time with the Lakers and Clippers. There’s a long history of athletic NBA point guards improving their jumper as they get older, but unfortunately, Westbrook only seems to keep getting worse as a shooter.