Is he back to his old self?

How long can Russell Westbrook keep his hot streak up?

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On the Jump today, Rachel Nichols, Kendrick Perkins, and Paul Pierce discussed why the Rockets were successful in their last four games. In the last four games, Westbrook has been extremely hot. He has averaged 32.3 points per game in the Rockets last four wins.

How has Westbrook been able to do this? Westbrook is finally getting comfortable in Mike D' Antoni's offensive system. He is shooting 45.4% from the field in the last four games. Westbrook has been able to use his speed and quickness to get the basket. Besides Westbrook getting to the basket, he has been able to find his infamous pull up jump shot again. It was never lost but rare when he took that. Recently, Westbrook has taken over games or made clutch shots. He has not been shy of the moment in recent games against the Kings, Clippers, and Spurs.


The Jump | Rachel Nichols Praises Westbrook turning corner offensively well-timed - Rockets victory youtu.be


It was almost concerning that Westbrook looked like a role player. He was never to be found in the fourth quarter. In fourth quarters, it was mostly James Harden taking over games. Westbrook was a bystander in the earlier part of the season. It seems now that Westbrook has gained most of his confidence back. He has given Rocket fans a reminder of what he was in Oklahoma City. It looks like Harden and Westbrook are finally on the same page.

If Harden and Westbrook remain on the same page, will this keep Westbrook scoring at a high rate?

The answer to that question is yes. Westbrook and Harden combined for a total of 266 points in the last four games. These two are causing the Rockets to play great basketball. The Rockets might have a chance at an NBA title if they keep this up. Since these two are on the same page, this has allowed the offense to be more successful. For Westbrook to continue his success he must stay aggressive and not let Harden forget about him.



Westbrook has not looked this good since the first game of the season against the Milwaukee Bucks.

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This week the NASCAR cup series heads to the world center of racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, for the inaugural fourth of July version of the Brickyard 400. This is unprecedented for NASCAR considering over the course of 50 years they are usually in Daytona around this time. While this move was met with a lot of criticism from fans, there is a positive to come from this move though, as the sport will hold their first doubleheader with Indycar. This has been talked about for many years and now it has finally come to fruition. Another new facet of this weekend will be the Xfinity Series running on the road course configuration. This could very well lead to the cup series transitioning from the oval to the road course next season should everything go well when the Xfinity series does it. It will definitely be an interesting weekend.

Last week, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin dominated the first-ever doubleheader at Pocono. The two drivers finished first and second in both races with Harvick taking race one and Hamlin winning race two. Both of these races came down to pit-road strategy as Harvick was able to eke out a victory by taking two tires and fuel while his teammate Aric Almirola took four. The next day Denny Hamlin pretty much had the whole field covered as he went on to claim his fourth victory of the season. Overall, the idea of two races in a weekend went over well but for the racing itself, it was hard to watch. One of the main issues I had was how the drivers didn't have to shift this week. In my opinion, that was what made this track so unique. It was an oval that had road course characteristics and it usually produced some pretty good finishes. Hopefully this will be addressed when the new car makes its debut in 2022.

One of the big stories going into this week is the announcement a couple of weeks ago that NASCAR will be moving their all-star event to Bristol Motor Speedway. Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a whirlwind of news from the Bubba Wallace story at Talladega, to the doubleheader races last week. A lot of this has put this announcement on the back burner but this is a huge story. The race will be held on Wednesday, July 15th as NASCAR continues with midweek races. This is the first time since 1986 that the race will not be run at NASCAR's home track in Charlotte back when it took place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The format will be pretty much the same as all the winners from 2019 and 2020 will all have an automatic birth into the race while the rest of the field will run in the open event the day before. The main event will feature four stages including a 15 lap closer around one of NASCAR's most popular race tracks. I think this move was long overdue and I hope that they continue with it in the future. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything wrong with the race at Charlotte but I think a change of pace would be welcomed. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

As we move on to Indy this weekend, the driver I have winning is Kurt Busch. This weekend will be the 2004 Cup Series champion's 700th career start, and he's won just about every race that there is to be won except this one here at the Brickyard. This week, that is going to change. It hasn't been the most consistent season for the Vegas native, but he still sits tenth in points and right in the thick of the playoff battle. This track isn't his best as he currently has a 19.42 average finish, including a dismal 30th place finish last year. But this week, I think he gets back on track with a victory as he starts second. The veteran has flown under the radar this year, but he has definitely shown spurts where we think he is going to break-out. He also has runs where it seems like him and his team are mid-pack, but there aren't many drivers out there that have the experience he has. And a talented driver like him always finds a way to bounce back. Look for Kurt Busch to take the #1 Monster Energy Camaro to victory lane.

All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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