Written by Rohit Ghosh
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Russell Westbrook: MVP Simulation Analysis
How would the Oklahoma City Thunder -- who seem to be succeeding despite being a so-called one-man team -- fare without their ever-so-prolific leader?
AccuScore simulated OKC's final six games in two sets of simulations: with Westbrook and without Westbrook. Surprisingly, though, there wasn't a noticeable difference with four of the six remaining games being played on the road.
For example, with Westbrook, OKC is projected to squeeze by the Milwaukee Bucks on 4/4 with a two-point victory; with Westbrook out, that projected win percentage drops about six points and simulates to an approximate tie.
Let's dive deeper into some of the numbers though, since simply stating Westbrook is important to his team is an exercise in futility.
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Heading into Tuesday's matchup with Milwaukee, the Thunder are 18-26 against teams in playoff positioning. Of Westbrook's 40 triple-doubles, 19 of them have come against playoff teams. So, nearly half of his triple-doubles have come against the top 50-some odd percentage of teams in the league.
And even more importantly, he has triple-doubles in 12 of his team's 18 wins vs playoff-positioned teams. Although the percentages were a little higher prior to OKC's 110-95 loss to San Antonio on March, the Thunder have won a shade over 40 percent of their matchups with playoff teams.
When Westbrook notches a triple-double in those games, the winning percentage this season against playoff opponents shoots up past sixty percent.
He's that important, especially in terms of OKC staying competitive against better opponents.
How'd he fare against them last time?
Westbrook finished with 30 points, six assists and seven rebounds in a loss to Milwaukee on Jan. 2.
OKC has won two-of-three matchups with Memphis this season, with Westbrook averaging nearly 28 points, 8 assists and 10-plus rebounds in those three games.
Following Memphis, OKC heads to Phoenix - a Suns team that Westbrook has torched this season for 41.7 points, 13.7 assists and 13.7 rebounds per game in three matchups (2-1).
OKC then finishes the regular season hosting Denver, against whom Westbrook has averaged 34 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists in two wins this season.