It’s no secret that Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook has never been a great shooter, but his output has fallen off a cliff lately.
Through five healthy games this season, the former nine-time All-Star is averaging 13.4 points (on .343/.200/.708 shooting splits), 7.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.4 steals per 30 minutes. All of these numbers are a far cry from the 15-year vet’s career averages of 22.8 points (.438/.304/.783 shooting), 8.4 assists and 7.4 boards.
Los Angeles head coach Darwin Hamm moved Westbrook to the LA bench in an effort to get him more involved offensively, looking like Westbrook might have some kind of extended NBA future. A caring role.
Either way, Westbrook needs to improve as a shooter in this new phase of his NBA career.
Sports psychologist and shooting expert Dr. Rob Smith, author of the new instructional workbook “Shooting Out of Your Mind” (lauded by none other than legendary San Antonio Spurs/Oklahoma City Thunder coach Chip Engelland!). On Russell Westbrook’s offense.
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Westbrook’s free-throw shooting has steadily declined since the 2016-17 season. Dr. Westbrook said he never spoke to him. Although Smith agrees, he recommends Brody work on his free-throw routine to improve his results from the charity stripe. “He used to go back to half court between FTs, but because the 2017 NBA rule change prohibited players from doing that, it threw him out and he publicly admitted.”
As a rescue for that broken jumper, Dr. Hamm and co. Smith says. Westbrook should try to get into a quick release so that the resulting shot remains more fluid — rather than waiting until the apex of his swing, which can disrupt the rhythm of the stroke.
“When he takes a step and shoots, he has a good release, but when he leans or drops back or shoots a shot, it often affects his judgment of the distance to the rim, which affects his shooting accuracy,” Dr. Smith said. Basically, Dr. Smith argues, Westbrook’s He often overthinks his shooting and wonders if he gets in his head at some point in his release, which negatively affects how often the ball goes to the basket.
“The body listens to the brain [when shooting],” noted Dr. Smith, “when it gets clouded by the chatter of the inner mind, the body – knowing what to do – tries to quickly change mid-shot to what it normally does with a calm mind. As a result, one or more of the 3 key elements of a shot (distance, arc, and alignment) can cause you to miss the shot.”
For Russ and all of the Lakers’ lackluster jump shooters this season (which is almost all of them), Dr. Here is an informative tutorial suggested by Smith: