Westbrook is a flat out stat-stuffing machine. He is nearly averaging a triple-double in this early 2015-2016 NBA season with 31.8 PPG 9.8 APG and 9.5 RPG. It is easy to say he does not miss his former all-star teammate Kevin Durant based off of these video game numbers. He may very well average a triple-double by seasons end, something only NBA legend Oscar Robertson has done.
The amazing success that Westbrook has achieved of course still comes with a toll on the team. The Oklahoma City Thunder are not close to as good as they looked last year mainly because of the loss of Durant in free agency to the Golden State Warriors. Now, they did add a solid shooting guard in a trade from the Orlando Magic in Victor Oladipo, but that also came at the expense of a top ten power forward in the league and elite shot blocker Serge Ibaka. Westbrook now vaults into MVP discussions by default because without KD, he can take as many shots as he feels like and as a result, he is putting up absurd stats. There was always the criticism of him taking way too many shots and not being a true point guard but now without KD, an average of 9.8 APG ranking 2nd in the NBA should put a rest to those claims. His sky high ceiling has shown more than ever this season and it would not be reached with two superstars on the same team. They were not winning championships so it became evident that an eventual break up of the star-studded duo was approaching.
Throughout the offseason Westbrook was getting bombarded with questions about Durant. It got to the point where he would act annoyed every time a question involving him was asked. Of course as a player, you are gonna be pissed about someone you have played every year of your NBA career with just leaving abruptly. Especially to the team you almost beat to get to the NBA finals. Durant himself has even stated himself, “I guess you could say I’m glad they lost” when referring to the Warriors’ finals loss to the Cavaliers. If they had not lost the finals he would not have gone there. Thus there is Westbrook, who has no say on what Durant’s decision ultimately was but may actually be somewhat happy about it.
For Westbrook, Durant leaving means all the personal accolades he could ask for. He has a legitimate shot to win MVP and post career high numbers across the board. If asked, I am sure he would put the team winning over all else. But, deep down inside he is excited to finally be out of the shadow of KD and has a one-way ticket to posting one of the greatest statistical seasons ever for a point guard.