Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, has fired the first salvo at Stephen Curry ahead of his team’s Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors.
According to Westbrook, the two-time MVP is not a unique challenge and could be tamed over the course of the best-of-seven series that begins Monday.
“He’s a shooter. He’s not nothing I haven’t seen. Him, (Damian) Lillard, guys like that, can shoot the basketball from four or five feet behind the 3, you’ve got to do a little different job defensively. But just be physical,” Westbrook said when asked how he plans to guard Curry during the series.
Curry, the first unanimous MVP in NBA history, shattered his own 3-point record this season, making a total of 402 shots from deep. However, that isn’t enough to threaten Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook: Curry is a shooter, not unique
“Making shots,” an irked Westbrook said when asked about Curry’s historic season. “He does a good job of making shots, creating shots for himself. He’s a tough shot-maker,” added Thunder’s triple-double machine.
Westbrook, who finished fourth in the MVP voting this season, made the most triple-doubles (18) in a single season since Magic Johnson in 1981-82. Therefore, it’s fair to say that Westbrook is also in the midst of a historic season.
It’s worth noting that Curry dominated Westbrook during the three regular season match-ups. Curry averaged 35 points in Golden State’s three wins against Thunder, including the “shot heard around the world” on February 27 when he pulled up from 37 feet to hit a buzzer-beater in overtime.
Also, Westbrook shot less than 40% against the Warriors while guarded by the likes of Klay Thompson and Andre Igudala. It’s once again expected that Curry won’t take up the difficult assignment of guarding Westbrook and would guard Andre Roberson or Dion Waiters instead.
Russell Westbrook vs Stephen Curry gets underway Monday.