Westbrook's self-criticism has some validity. Russ scored just 9 points against the Mavericks while shooting a horrific 4-22 from the field. The 105-103 loss was the team's third in its past four games and it's clear the Thunder rely on the consistency of the 2016-17 NBA MVP. This is something Westbrook acknowledges. Despite scoring 40 in the team's Friday night win over the Phoenix Suns, the seven-time All-Star is shooting a mere 37.2 percent for the month of December, making it his worst shooting month since his 2009 sophomore season.
"It's really on me. I've been shit the last month or so. I've just got to get focused in and locked back in on what I need to do. I've got to help my guys out. I've been letting them down, man, just not being consistent on the offensive end," Westbrook confessed.
For a player like Russ, who averaged a triple-double for two straight seasons, it is clear that he puts an emphasis on producing in all aspects of the game. And although he is struggling, the superstar promised fans (and himself) that he will do his best to turn his luck around and that the Thunder are still in a good position for another deep playoff run.
"I've been in worse positions, man. It's not the worst thing. We're third in the West. We're winning games. It's not about me. My job is to make sure we win games. I bring so much more to the game of basketball than offense. I defend at a high level, rebound, pass, whatever. I'll do whatever for us to win games," Russ said before explaining why he is his biggest critic.
"I'm a basketball player. I'm very, very hard on myself because I'm able to do everything on the floor. And I don't really think there's many other guys in the league that play the game the way I do every night, so I pride myself on doing everything at a high level every night," he said. "If it's scoring one night, then it's assists and rebounding, whatever it is, defending—I pride myself on doing everything at a high level every single night. I'm going to be tougher on myself than anybody."