A Tale of Two Point Guards: Russell Westbrook and Mario Chalmers

Ordinary Joe
(image from heathoops.com)

(image from 22h22.org)
They can’t be any more different. On one hand is an All-Star playmaker who has produced essentially the same numbers as MVP shoe-in Derrick Rose. On the other is a former Jayhawk whose points-per-game average has dipped steadily since his rookie season. Russell Westbrook and Mario Chalmers are worlds apart it seems, but they might play equally important roles if their teams continue to contend for the title.

Westbrook is at home on high
(image by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
We all know about Russell Westbrook and his stellar season for the OKC Thunder. Jet Zero has played a very potent Robin to Kevin Durant’s Batman, and it doesn’t take rocket science to surmise that Oklahoma City won’t be enjoying the playoffs if he didn’t play the way he did.

It’s safe to say Westbrook will continue playing well, no matter if the Thunder eventually go up against the Spurs or the Grizzlies. He’s faster than Tony Parker (yes, he is admit it), and Mike Conley will expend too much energy running after him. The only thing that can really be Westbrook’s stopper is, insert drum roll, himself.
Batman and Robin
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

If he never shoots in the vicinity of 30 field goal attempts again, then all the better for Scott Brooks. If the Thunder look to advance into the conference finals, as they are expected to, and try for a major upset to barge into the Finals, then Westbrook cannot be content being fast and jumping high. He has to play smart too. Remember Russell, you’re Robin.

Super Mario
(image by the AP)
If Mario Chalmers were the Heat’s version of Robin, they wouldn’t be in the playoffs. But this is a guy who, though he doesn’t put up nearly the same stats as Westbrook and he’ll probably never get an All-Star nod, understands what is expected of him and plays it to the hilt.

There’s only one basketball per possession and his team has LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. No way Chalmers is going to shoot like he used to. He’s also playing behind Mike Bibby, who’s a couple of years separated from his prime. Super Mario is your classic under-the-radar guy.

Bibby is Ron Harper, and Chalmers is Randy Brown. He doesn’t have to put up double figures and dazzle, but if he is spectacular at his unspectacular role, then his spectacular teammates will clean house.

Has to be ready for anything
(image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Make no mistake, when the likes of Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose or Jamal Crawford rear their feisty heads in Florida, Chalmers better be ready. And when he gets an open corner three? He better be ready. And when Bibby’s legs fail him? He better be ready.

As long as the Heat are alive, Mario Chalmers better be ready.

Two different point guards on two different teams. Playing for the same set of marbles. The only way they’ll meet before next season is if both their teams still play through June. For that to happen, both Russell Westbrook and Mario Chalmers have to know their roles.

Next Post »
0 Comment