Russell Westbrook Faces Speculation Of Possible Issues With Hands Or Eyes

Russell Westbrook
NBA Analysis Network

An interesting wrinkle has recently come to light in the ongoing sage between Russell Westbrook with the Los Angeles Lakers. After a season-long struggle for both Westbrook and the franchise, questions are arising around the former NBA All-Star’s hand and eye health.

Westbrook had a tough year for the Los Angeles Lakers — scoring under 20 points per game for the first time since the ’09-10 season. He put up 18.5/7.1/7.4 this year, but did so on underwhelming efficiency, shooting 44.4% from the field and 29.8% from deep.

According to ESPN Senior Writer Ramona Shelburne, after prolonged struggles for Russell Westbrook, “people on the team and around the league began to wonder if something was wrong with his hands or eyes.”

“It’s not often a player makes just 65% of his dunks in a season,” Shelburne added.

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It’s tough to find dunk-specific stats to confirm, but per NBA.com Westbrook has one of the league’s lowest FG% in the restricted area this season, at 56.5%. A hand-eye issue could be the culprit for his struggles, as Westbrook did shoot better (62.6%) from that range the year prior.

For his part, Russell Westbrook’s camp has denied any sort of hand or eye issue.

Per Shelburne, “Sources close to Westbrook insist he has had his hands thoroughly checked by a specialist and that the treatment he receives regularly is no different than the regular treatment he does on his ankles and knees.”

NBA players frequently undergo testing from medical staff and trainers to ensure they remain healthy as the season progresses, so this is plausible.

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Westbrook has taken a lot of criticism this season, not all of it necessarily fair. If a hand or eye injury were shown to be the cause, it would certainly explain a lot about Westbrook’s season.

With Russell Westbrook’s future with the Los Angeles Lakers uncertain, this story will need to be sorted out before any teams potentially take a chance on him in the trade market. Charlotte has recently come up as a potential Westbrook suitor, though they would probably need confirmation that any injury issues are resolved.

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