Allen Iverson vs Russell Westbrook
What happens when two of the most athletic players in the history of the game line up against each other? Can Allen Iverson’s tenacity and heart overcome Westbrook’s size? Does Westbrook, despite his athleticism, have a chance of staying in front of Iverson and the deadliest crossover that we’ve ever seen? Our panel discusses:
Pick: Iverson. I can’t use the word fearless enough when talking about Russell Westbrook. This guy has the same thing Jordan and Kobe had; heart, courage, competitive nature, the IT factor. But I think his run will end here, this will come down to scoring the ball and Iverson could fill it up. A.I. has a career high of 33 points a game, 26.7 career average Russ only 28.1 career high, 21.1 career average. Iverson had 4 scoring titles to Westbrook’s 1. And on the defensive end I’m not overly impressed with Westbrook but I think Iverson could get a few more takeaways the 3x steals leader had a career high of 2.8 steals a game, 2.2 career average 2.1 career high, 1.7 career average for Russ. Westbrook is a great athlete, but A.I. had bounce as well and I think Russ would be shocked to face a point guard as fast as he is if not faster. With about 2 inches and 25 pounds on A.I. Westbrook is physically bigger but with Iverson’s handles and speed he’ll be able to create plenty of space, if he could shake M.J. he can shake Russ.
Pick: Westbrook. Westbrook vs. Iverson… That’s a tough one. I don’t have a strong opinion about that one one way or the other. That would be a good match though. They’re both ridiculously athletic and not great outside shooters. I feel like Westbrook’s size might give Iverson trouble.
Pick: Westbrook. Iverson vs Westbrook is about as tough as they get cause if it’s anyone who can match The Answer speed and intensity it’s Mr. Triple Double . Westbrook might have replaced KD as the Thunder best player. Too bad because that dynamic duo might never see a championship together. 1 on 1 vs The Answer would be a tall task for Westbrook as Iverson was the master of the crossover . Westbrook would have a hard time guarding Iverson and staying in front of him but I think he would be able too just enough to get Iverson to miss a couple of jumpshots. On the other end Iverson small size would make it hard to contain Westbrook relentless drives to the cup and his much improved post up game . Even though Iverson could keep up with Westbrook speed ,once Russ put his shoulder into his chest and rise up for his pull up Iverson wouldn’t be able to fully contest it . At the end Iverson would rally and show all the heart and tie it up but Russ would hit the game winner to take this match up of Shooting point guards.
Pick: Iverson. This is by far the toughest matchup so far. When you look at these two guys, Iverson and Westbrook, you’re talking about two of the most athletic players that we’ve ever seen. In my opinion, in terms of speed and quickness, I give Iverson the slight edge in those areas. But in terms of size and strength, Westbrook has a big advantage. Is that enough? I don’t think so. Iverson, for the gifts that he had athletically, the biggest reason for his success was his heart and mental toughness. He was relentless on the court, and despite having some bad shooting nights throughout his career, there was never a question of his desire or will. The same can’t be said for Westbrook who, despite having Kevin Durant as support, still has similar kinds of off-shooting nights as Iverson had (whose best offensive weapon was Aaron McKie) when all the defensive attention was on him. Can Westbrook defend Iverson? Yeah, he’d probably do a decent job on him. Can Westbrook post him up and finish around the rim? Absolutely. But, despite Iverson’s lack of height, it’s important to note that we rarely saw opposing players try to post him up. In this matchup, Westbrook will get some easy buckets, but Iverson keeps coming at him and Westbrook falls in love with the jumper a bit too much, and Iverson takes it.