Ricky Rubio hung the best playoff performance of his career on Russell Westbrook on Saturday.
OK, so it was the third playoff game of his seven-year career.
But still, Rubio absolutely wrecked Westbrook on both ends of the floor, and apparently Westbrook knew it.
Just watch how many times the Utah Jazz point guard dusted Westbrook to either score or pass en route to a 26-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist triple-double in Game 3 of Utah’s clash with the Oklahoma City Thunder, and how often Westbrook’s possessions against Rubio and Co. came up empty.
“He made some shots,” Westbrook said after shooting 5-of-17 and turning the ball over eight times in the 115-102 defeat. “Too comfortable. But I’ma shut that s— off next game, though. Guarantee that.”
Playing defense in a playoff game? The man’s a genius, it just might work.
If the Jazz, owners of a 2-1 series lead, pull out the first-round upset, it’ll be yet another indictment of the me-against-the-world style that won Westbrook an MVP a season ago. He’s out there slamming his head against the brick wall that is Utah’s defense. Meanwhile, the Jazz, led offensively by a rookie, a point guard who’s a historically inefficient shooter, and a guy who looks more like a car mechanic, are running circles around OKC with a crisp offense based on sharing the rock.
No wonder Westbrook’s so salty — you would be too upon realizing your style of play will never win a championship.