Paul George stands up for Russell Westbrook as Brodie’s struggles reach new depths with Clippers

Russell Westbrook has proved time and again that he belongs among the elite basketball players in the league. As a player with an MVP status, the expectations are usually so high, and when it is not met, the franchise, the fans, and the enthusiasts begin to question one’s talent. This is the exact situation surrounding Westbrook.

Many suggested the addition of James Harden to the Clippers in order to inspire Russell Westbrook because they once rocked the league together playing for the OKC. But the reverse is the case as the former MVP is nowhere close to his best and has even angered the fans which led his teammate Paul George to defend him recently amid confrontation with fans.

Paul George speaks out on Westbrook’s behalf

In the closing moments of the Clippers’ highly disappointing game against the Denver Nuggets, Russell Westbrook engaged in a heated exchange with a fan. The exact details of the conversation remain unclear, but Paul George stands firmly by his teammate, offering support regardless of the circumstances.

“Nowhere else can people go to someone’s job and disrespect you at your job and it be okay… When people come to work, they should be respected at their job,” George said.

Clippers Paul George defends Russell Westbrook as he struggles reach his peak recently with Clippers
Russell Westbrook Via Getty

Following the Clippers’ loss to the Nuggets, Paul George shared his perspective on Westbrook’s confrontation with a hostile fan. He acknowledged the delicate balance fans navigate, emphasizing that their financial investment in attending games may contribute to a sense of entitlement. However, Paul he stressed the importance of respect, highlighting the boundary that should not be crossed, irrespective of a person’s profession.

For Paul George, the key issue is about maintaining a level of respect. While fans are not obligated to be fans of every player on the court, there exists a line that should not be crossed when it comes to showing disrespect, regardless of a person’s occupation.

Russell Westbrook reaches new low with Clippers

Russell Westbrook had a strong start to the season, given the circumstances. He averaged approximately 15 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in about 34 minutes per game as the starting point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers. The team had a plus-64 point differential in the minutes he played during those games, leading to a 3-2 record at the beginning of the season.

Although not performing at his All-Star level, he exceeded the Clippers’ expectations for a 35-year-old earning the minimum salary. However, everything changed when they acquired James Harden. And it did so for the worst.

Clippers Paul George defends Russell Westbrook as he struggles reach his peak recently with Clippers
Russell Westbrook Via Getty

In the five starts alongside Harden, Westbrook’s field goal percentage dropped by around 10 percentage points, and his scoring, rebounding, and assisting all saw significant declines. The Clippers experienced a 27-point deficit in the minutes he played, and the situation worsened when he shared the court with Harden.

The team lost all five games when the former Oklahoma City teammates started together. Subsequently, Westbrook returned to his bench role, and overall, the team’s performance improved. They won their first three games with Westbrook as a reserve, even though he played fewer minutes.

However, his playing time hit a new low on Friday. In a 116-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans, Westbrook only played 14 minutes, marking the fourth-lowest figure in his career according to Ben Golliver. Westbrook scored three points on 1-of-8 shooting. While Harden also struggled, making only two of eight shot attempts, he played 37 minutes. This seems to be the new plan moving forward.

The pairing of Harden and Westbrook has proven ineffective. Even before the Clippers acquired the 2018 MVP, their time together in Houston indicated compatibility issues. Current data supports these concerns, revealing a minus-17.6 net rating in 241 possessions for lineups featuring both players, according to Cleaning the Glass. Harden thrives with teammates who excel in shooting, cutting, screening, and defending, areas where Westbrook has shown reluctance, except for shooting, and not always with success.

What are your thoughts on Russell Westbrook’s future with the Clippers? Share with us below.

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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