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News » Brooks challenging Westbrook to improve across the board

Brooks challenging Westbrook to improve across the board

Brooks challenging Westbrook to improve across the board
Before Thunder players scatter across the country for vacation, coach Scott Brooks will pull Russell Westbrook aside and challenge his point guard to expand his game this summer. But rather than one specific area, Brooks is looking for across-the-board improvement. He wants the rookie to improve his passing, shooting, ball-handling, defense and decision-making.

"He's going to have to really step up and have a great summer. He can't rest on the year that he has had," Brooks said. "I believe that at a young age you shouldn't just work on one area, you should get better on all areas of the game... And Russell has the ability to improve a lot. He has a lot of athletic ability. He has a lot of talent. He works extremely hard. And the thing that I see is he understands and he knows that he needs to get better.

"As a point guard, you can't rest. You can't take time off. There are so many good point guards in this league. Guys are waiting to get after you and pass you up.

"And Russell has to have that mentality. He has to understand that there are guys out there that are going to want to test him in his second year, and he has to really get after it and challenge himself this summer."


A part of rookie guard Kyle Weaver's development in this final month has been learning how to run the offense from the point guard spot. The Thunder sent Weaver to the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League for two games to put the ball in his hands more as a lead guard, and Brooks has tinkered with Weaver at point guard sporadically over the past few weeks.

"I've just been learning," Weaver said.

"It's an adjustment, especially at this level. Having the ball in your hands, there's definitely a lot more responsibility that comes with that. I'm just here to take on the challenge and hopefully get better."

His main goals: avoiding turnovers, getting the team good shots and making good decisions.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 16, 2009


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