Brooks explains Westbrook's late defensive blunder vs. Sixers


The eye in the sky never lies, and with social media these days, specific moments can be replayed on an infinite loop for many people to see.

Russell Westbrook may have had a triple-double in his Wizards' debut, but he also made what appeared to be a mistake at a crucial time on defense. With about 24 seconds remaining in the Wizards' loss to the Sixers, he left Ben Simmons alone near the basket to confront Joel Embiid at the free throw line.

That led to an easy dunk for Simmons, which put Philly up by four and essentially polished off their win.

The next day, head coach Scott Brooks offered his version of what happened.

"Russell thought Simmons was clearing out and he thought Embiid was rolling. So, he made the decision when we didn’t have the backside ready," Brooks said. "He probably, if he had to do it over again or if the game was played in slow motion, he would have never done that. But you have to make these plays quick, these are all quick decisions."

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Brooks went on to mention how Embiid was lethal in that range throughout the night. According to his shot chart on NBA.com, he was 4-for-9 in the midrange overall with three makes right around where Westbrook challenged him.


Embiid may have been a threat from there, but it's still a lower percentage shot than a Simmons dunk. And by leaving his man, he left Thomas Bryant in a difficult spot with no chance of contesting Simmons at the rim.


The Wizards were close to pulling off the victory on Wednesday, but little moments like that added up and contributed to a loss.