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Lakers’ Russell Westbrook averaging less than 60 percent on dunks


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Lakers’ Russell Westbrook averaging less than 60 percent on dunks


What happened?Illustration: Getty Images

In his inaugural season with the Los Angeles Lakers, former NBA MVP Russell Westbrook has been underwhelming to say the least. Over his last ten games, the Brodie has averaged 15.2 points per game while shooting an abysmal 36.4 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from deep.

Westbrook was supposed to help shore up a shaky Lakers backcourt and instead has made it more unstable en route to a 23-24 record, despite LeBron James averaging his most points per game since 2010. Westbrook’s greatest strength as an NBA player has been his athleticism. He’s 6-foot-4, yet his head has reached the rim on numerous occasions. He’s one of the fastest players in the league and possibly of all time. He’s insanely strong for his position and incredibly durable. His biggest drawback has always been that he can’t shoot. In 2022, Westbrook’s shooting problems have reached a new low as Westbrook can’t even hit 60 percent…on dunks.

In March, Westbrook assured the NBA world that he wouldn’t be missing any more dunks. Call us Maury Povich, because we have determined that that was a lie. According to NBA.com, Westbrook has attempted 17 dunks on the season and has made just ten of them, giving him a 58.8 shooting percentage on such shots from point-blank range. While Westbrook had seen a steady drop in dunk percentage between 2013 (95.6 shooting percentage on dunks) and 2021 (77.4), nobody could’ve predicted the massive drop in production we’re seeing this year.

How? How does one of the most flashy, exciting “above-the-rim” point guards of all-time turn into…well, THIS?!

Of all players with at least 160 shot attempts from inside the restricted area, Westbrook is shooting the second-lowest percentage (55.7 percent). Coincidentally, the only person shooting worse from that area with that many attempts is Westbrook’s former teammate and fellow former MVP James Harden (54.7 percent). However, on dunks, Harden is still shooting 100 percent on the season — albeit on just six attempts.

What is causing this sudden drop in “dunk efficiency” from Westbrook?

Is it the change…



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