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Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd went to a different sport when looking for comparisons for Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.
“He is the [Mike] Tyson of basketball,” Kidd said before his team’s game against the Thunder on Tuesday, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.com. “When the jump ball [goes up], he is coming as Tyson did [in getting] off the stool. When the bell rings, he’s coming for you. Whenever he’s on the floor, he plays at one speed, and that’s fast and hard.”
Kidd saw only one current point guard who could be in the same category as Westbrook speed-wise: “He’s a little different in that case that he’s probably the only one and then I would put [at] 1B in that same category, John Wall.”
The Bucks coach also had experience facing Westbrook during his playing days and understands how daunting the Thunder point guard can be in the open floor. He went as far as to compare this year’s Oklahoma City team to the “older Miami teams…where live-ball turnovers turn into dunks or threes.”
Those Heat teams had a Big Three with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, and this season’s Thunder squad has Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.
While the presence of the other two stars means Westbrook no longer has to carry the team on his shoulders throughout entire games and average a triple-double for the season, he hasn’t slowed much with 20.8 points, 12.2 badists and 9.8 rebounds per night through the first six games of the season.
The 12.2 badists would mark a career high if he maintains that pace, although the approach has led to mixed results, as the Thunder only have a 3-3 record.
The Thunder likely need some time to gel following so much significant roster turnover this offseason, but as long as they have the Tyson-like speed of Westbrook leading the way, they remain a threat in the Western Conference.