3 takeaways from game one of the Clippers vs. Suns

Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard, LA Clippers - Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /
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Russell Westbrook, LA Clippers
Russell Westbrook, LA Clippers – Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

2. For the time being, Russell Westbrook is the Clippers’ second option

Following the signing of Russell Westbrook, many assumed that his playstyle would damage the LA Clippers in the postseason. While this may be a fair assumption, head coach Tyronn Lue is utilizing his strengths and hiding his weaknesses.

Furthermore, some of his biggest strengths are rebounding and making plays for his teammates. In game one against the Phoenix Suns, Westbrook did just that. In fact, five of his 11 rebounds came on the offensive end. What’s even crazier, the entire Suns’ team only had six offensive boards.

Although Westbrook’s shooting may be considered a weakness, he finished the regular season shooting 35.6% from deep in a Clipper uniform. This ultimately means that opponents must respect his jump shot, or he will make them pay in the long run. Not to mention Westbrook attempts nearly four three-pointers per night.

Moreover, Westbrook also made numerous plays on the defensive end which coerced the Clippers into a position to win the ball game. He defended Kevin Durant and Devin Booker on countless possessions and had the game-winning block down the stretch.

However, despite his contributions, Westbrook shot 3/19 from the field. While this may seem problematic, fans should note that he missed countless shots he usually makes. Had Westbrook scored his regular season average of nearly 16 points, the LA Clippers would have run away with the victory.

With Paul George out indefinitely, Westbrook is the second option next to Kawhi Leonard. This applies to both ends of the floor, as the former league MVP hustled on defense and the glass.