Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has defended Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook from criticism about the amount of shots he takes.
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Westbrook nearly put up yet another triple-double on Sunday in the loss to the Indiana Pacers with 54 points, eight assists and nine rebounds.
However, the number that grabbed the most attention was 43, which was the number of shots he took in the game to get to his career-best points total.
While his efficiency wasn’t particularly bad in this match-up, it was still a lot of shots for one player to take in a game and so it naturally caused a reaction in the media over how OKC are over-reliant on their point guard.
With Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka sidelined by injury, the responsibility has fallen on Westbrook’s shoulders to lead the team into the playoffs. It comes as no surprise that Bryant, who is known for being a league leader in field goal attempts, defended him as he looked to praise him for what he does for the team on a nightly basis.
Bryant clearly wanted to shift the focus on what Westbrook does well, but it will come down to the final game of the regular season to decide whether it is the Thunder to the New Orleans Pelicans who grab the eighth and final playoff spot.
Westbrook’s effort this season won’t mean much if OKC don’t make the post-season…
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) April 13, 2015