The three-superstar experiment currently being conducted by Oklahoma City Thunder GM and mad basketball scientist Sam Presti is still very much a work in progress.
OKC is ninth in the West with an underwhelming 7-6 record, following a 104-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Friday.
Oh, and three of those wins were against the truly horrible Chicago Bulls (twice) and Dallas Mavericks.
The Thunder are out of sync offensively and notoriously horrible down the stretch, with a league-worst and truly eye-popping -46.4 point differential per 100 possessions in clutch situations.
The pressure to make all this work falls squarely on the shoulders of its original ‘big three’ member and primary alpha, Russell Westbrook, and he seems to be well aware of it.
After going through stretches where he didn’t pass the ball at all – his most infamous stretch being the entire 2016/17 season – Russ has even been too unselfish in patches in a concerted effort to try (a little too hard) to make things work.
His desire to fix this, and understanding that if he doesn’t everything will primarily fall back on him, is also evident in his comments to ESPN’s Royce Young this week.
“That’s a part of my job to make sure those guys are [comfortable],” Westbrook said. “Those guys are great players, and my job is to make sure they’re comfortable, and in their spots, and comfortable with the things that best benefits their game.”
Westbrook and the Thunder will get their next shot to turn things around when they face the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.