Milwaukee Bucks Game Preview: April 4 at Oklahoma City Thunder

Jan 2, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives for the basket as Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon (13) defends during the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 2, 2017; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives for the basket as Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon (13) defends during the third quarter at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 29, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives to the basket against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2017; Orlando, FL, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives to the basket against the Orlando Magic during the first quarter at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Player To Watch: Russell Westbrook

For all the subtle digs I’ve thrown at Russell Westbrook so far in this piece, there’s no denying he’s an excellent basketball player. The Thunder could potentially benefit from Westbrook allowing his teammates to do a little more, but there’s no doubt that Oklahoma City is lost without Russ.

More from Behind the Buck Pass

The plus-minus numbers shared earlier demonstrate how crucial Westbrook is to the Thunder, and his per game numbers are shocking for a point guard. In under 35 minutes per game Westbrook averages 31.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 10.4 assists and 1.7 steals.

In addition to leading the league in triple-doubles by a country mile, Westbrook is also leading all NBA players in per game scoring. He’s shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from three-point range while doing it, which aren’t Stephen Curry shooting percentages but they’re not awful either.

The one bugaboo for Westbrook this season has been defense. Sometimes it becomes very evident that he just doesn’t have the energy left to really lock in on that end–Westbrook defensive lapses are becoming common.