Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook was once again involved in some trash-talking with the fans. This time it was inside the Vivint Smart Home Arena during the game against Utah Jazz.
In the third quarter of Saturday’s game, Westbrook was outside the arc near the baseline when a fan -started trash talking. Westbrook’s response on the was amazing to watch. He went behind 7″1′ Utah big man Rudy Gobert and jammed a James Harden-pass into the net.
— AT&T SportsNet SW (@ATTSportsNetSW) February 23, 2020
HARDEN TO RUSS MY GOODNESS🔥
Look at the elevation from Westbrookpic.twitter.com/bHKVii7Txk
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 23, 2020
Talking about the incident after the game, Westbrook said: “I’ve still got a little bounce. Before the oop, the guy was telling me ‘Shoot the 3, shoot the 3, Gobert is the best defensive player in the league.’ I said ‘Okay, okay, okay’ … While he was talking, I just went backdoor.”
Russell Westbrook on his interaction with a fan before alley-oop: “Before the oop, the guy was telling me ‘Shoot the 3, shoot the 3, Gobert is the best defensive player in the league’. I said ‘Okay, okay, okay’…While he was talking, I just went backdoor” pic.twitter.com/w6KXEP1ToX
— Alykhan Bijani (@Rockets_Insider) February 23, 2020
Rudy Gobert guarding Russell Westbrook- unusual but necessary?
Westbrook might have successfully managed to put the shot over Gobert but it is unusual to see a center guarding a guard. One of the possible reasons for this unconventional approach could be the small ball game of the Rockets.
While many might not agree with Gobert guarding Westbrook, the big man had his reasons for it.
“I think I would do it again,” Gobert said. “Having Russ being guarded by one of our guards is a mismatch. When I’m guarding him, at least he doesn’t get to the rim. He’s going to miss shots, he’s going to make shots, but at least he doesn’t break us down and bring the double-team and find his teammates.
“We make him work. That’s pretty much it. We make him work, and he’s able to make those shots sometimes, and sometimes he’s not. We’ve got to live with that and do what we do.”
Also, with the Rockets center PJ Tucker spending most of his offensive time outside the arc, it becomes difficult for Gobert to guard the rim whilst guarding Tucker.