Not even the nth triple-double of Westbrook can with Hayward

Westbrook continued his love affair with the triple-double, but the Wizards couldn't beat Charlotte and move away from the play-in. Hayward, with 26 + 11 + 6, key.


This is also Russell Westbrook. Just as the other day he made history with a triple-double never seen (35 + 14 + 21) and led his team to victory against the Pacers, today he has not managed to get the Wizards to add up despite setting, again, numbers extraordinary: 22 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists, his third consecutive triple-double and the seventh in the last 10 games. Westbrook has 17 this season, first in the league in this section and the Wizards' absolute record in just 39 games. Average, for the fourth time in his career, more than double digits in points, rebounds and assists and has made at least one double-double in 33 of the 39 nights he has been on the track. But of course, his team has only 17 victories, is fourth from behind in a very cheap Eastern Conference (or very expensive, depending on how you look at it) and does not manage to chain good streaks of victories or good game, while waiting for a Bradley Beal who adds two consecutive absences for a blow to the hip in a game against the Pistons. I mean, the Wizards can't fail if they want to get to the play-in (they are, for whatever reason, only 2.5 games away), but they don't seem to have enough consistency to do so. Nor that Westbrook is the ideal leader for it.

With the base there are no gray shades. Hero or villain, star or star, he is a historical player due to his physique and his incredible statistics, but also a man who has never wanted to improve his limitations or correct his defects (launching, defense). Focusing only on adding more and more numbers has caused him to be the target of criticism and against the Hornets, it has been shown how a player like Gordon Hayward can review a team without having such bulky numbers and as a correct and cool team you can step over another with innumerable shortcomings, despite having a template with gaps but with which you could achieve more. Gordon Hayward finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists, gave a clinic on how to play basketball, led the Hornets to a new victory and kept them in the playoffs, in fourth place (24-22) in a very tight and where it is, attention, only 1.5 games from falling to eighth place. The season is being weird, no doubt.

The Hornets were a pylon hammer: they won all their quarters except the third, which ended in a tie. They did not do it by an overwhelming difference, but gradually, increasing their distance on the scoreboard slowly but surely, and leaving the Wizards (114.8 points per game, the fourth-highest scoring franchise in the East) at only 104 so many, 23 in the fourth quarter, in which they shot 10 of 25 from the field and scored just 1 triple in 7 attempts. And yes, Westbrook did get a triple-double, but he re-entered that dynamic of poor shot selection and lousy shooting that left him with a horrendous statistic: 7 of 20. Again, he abused the triple (despite scoring 4 , tried 9), had up to 5 losses to his credit (almost 38 minutes of play), he personalized the game too much and found his teammates, but did not transfer his numbers to the team, something recurrent during his sports career. In total, -6 with him on the track and a painful defeat at home, although still with a favorable calendar ahead. His next game, in fact, is against the Pistons ... and they have to win it.

James Borrego's team was led by Hayward, but the leading scorer was Terry Rozier: 27 points with a good series of shots (10 of 20, with 5 of 10 in triples), to which he added 7 rebounds and 4 assists. In addition, 17 + 5 + 6 from Devonte 'Graham and 16 + 13 from Cody Zeller from the bench, which made him the leader of the second unit. At the Wizards, Deni Avdije had a night to forget (3 points on 1-of-10 shooting), but the top scorer was Rui Hachimura (30 points, 12-for-25 shooting), while Beal's absence is allowing Westbrook further customize the game with disparate results. Alex Len and Jerome Robinson also topped the ten, while Robin Lopez contributed a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. That is, the players contribute thanks to the inexhaustible supply of an indefatigable Westbrook, but in attack, they do not smell a ball that is always in the hands of a great point guard who sometimes does not seem so. Again, the gray nuances do not exist for a historical player who has a little further (every game counts, a very real topic eight weeks before the playoffs) and Scott Brooks will have to find a way to balance the triple-doubles and the victory. . That, or the ending will be very clear. And certainly not the one Westbrook wants. Who wants it all anyway.

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