The Washington Wizards are peaking at the right time and most of it is because of Russell Westbrook’s heroics. The former MVP has finally developed a bond with Bradley Beal and the duo are now hunting in pairs as they continue their charge to climb the ladder in the Eastern Conference.
The Wizards had a very shaky start to the season but now have picked up form and are in the 10th position contending for the play-in spots. However, NBA Analyst Stephen A. Smith is not ready to give much heed to Westbrook’s stunning numbers this season. He feels that he would take the 32-year-old guard more seriously had he been an NBA champion. Westbrook has not come near to the Western Conference finals ever since Kevin Durant left him at OKC.
Smith said, “We’d celebrate you even more if you were a champion. You’ve been to four conference finals. You’ve been to an NBA Finals when Kevin Durant and cats like that were your teammates. Once Kevin Durant departed, you went home in the first round three straight years. You go to Houston, you go home in the semi-finals.”
Smith highlighted how Westbrook’s numbers for the Wizards mattered very little in the early part of the season as they lost most of the matches during that time. However now as the Wizards are in play-in contention Smith wants Westbrook to put up big numbers in crunch matches where it will matter the most.
“You’re in Washington, and when everybody was raving about the triple-doubles, you were 13 games under .500 at that time. Now you’re in the play-in game. So now, you’re winning games more than losing, and y’all are making a run, you and Bradley Beal and the rest of the crew. And so now is the time to say okay, all right, that’s what we’re talking about Russ,” Smith continued.
Smith is critical of Westbrook’s point of view as he feels that the analysts nowadays focus too much on numbers as Westbrook is just too good for only numbers. Smith feels that Westbrook should be doing more as he is so talented.
“But at times when he speaks, it’s like no matter the outcome, he just wants us to look at his numbers. No! You’re too great for that. We will not just look at your numbers because you’re too great for that… Greatness like yours, the public is clamouring to see it when it counts. And there is nothing wrong with that. (With) greatness comes great responsibility,” concluded Smith.