Iman Shumpert talks about guarding Russell Westbrook
A major part of the Cavaliers’ recent struggles, and a reason for losing games is their defense, or lack thereof. Sunday’s victory was a major turning point for the Cavs on the defensive end of the floor, as Cleveland kept the high-scoring Thunder to just 91 points.
The Cavs had been on a horror defensive stretch prior to Sunday’s matinee, allowing 100+ points in 19 of their past 21 games. With the triple double machine, Russell Westbrook, coming into town, Iman Shumpert knew what had to be done for his Cavaliers to be successful.
“Honestly, guarding Russell Westbrook and him being probably most fierce competitor I’ve ever had to go against, he’s one of those guys that whether he’s playing good or bad he’s coming full speed,” Shumpert told cleveland.com. “You have to be locked and loaded and ready to go.”
Shumpert kept Westbrook to just 20 points on the night, the sixth time this season he’s failed to eclipse that number. Westbrook finished the day shooting just 27.9% from the field, his second worst for the season, only shooting worse against the Golden State Warriors in early November.
The way for our Cavaliers to get back on track is to take care of things on the defensive end of the floor. Iman Shumpert is a guy that has the ability to anchor an entire team with his one-on-one defensive abilities.
Shumpert’s efforts against the Thunder did not go unnoticed, if he continues to set the defensive tone for Cleveland, they’ll be back on track in no time.