NBA Teams
Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer 18d

Jason Kidd: Russell Westbrook 'plays at one speed, and that's fast and hard'

NBA, Oklahoma City Thunder, Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Bucks head coach Jason Kidd believes Russell Westbrook's aggressiveness is comparable to that of a Hall of Famer in a different sport.

"He is the [Mike] Tyson of basketball," Kidd, a former star point guard himself, said before the Bucks lost 110-91 to Westbrook's Oklahoma City Thunder. "When the jump ball [goes up], he is coming as Tyson did [in getting] off the stool. When the bell rings, he's coming for you. Whenever he's on the floor, he plays at one speed, and that's fast and hard. He's a little different in that case that he's probably the only [No.] 1, and then I would put [at] 1B in that same category John Wall. Just that speed of coming at you every time you're on the floor. There is no kind of walking the ball up; they are coming at you and causing problems."

Kidd was very complimentary of Westbrook and his playing style. The pair exchanged a quick handshake and greetings before Tuesday's game.

"He's the best in the game," Kidd said of Westbrook, the reigning league MVP. "Puts a lot of pressure on your defense, offensively and defensively. For him, he can make the adjustment, play with talented guys like [Paul] George and Melo [Carmelo Anthony]. For him, his game doesn't change. He puts a lot of pressure offensively on that break, just finding the open guy and making the game easy."

Westbrook finished the game with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists. 

Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo knew much of the focus in Tuesday's game would be on his matchup with Westbrook. But Antetokounmpo spent much of the first quarter on the bench with two fouls, and the Bucks struggled from the 3-point line, opening 1-of-14.

"I'm not trying to get into 'who versus who,'" Antetokounmpo said before the game. "My mindset is getting going tonight and helping my team win. And us playing hard and getting better. ... We just got to trust our game plan. Do what we do as a team, even though, of course, they have a lot of weapons, they have a lot of superstars. We just got to trust one another."

Antetokounmpo, who leads the league in scoring at 33.7 points per game, finished with a game-high 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting, but no other Bucks player finished in double-digits. 

Kidd said the Thunder's new power trio of Westbrook, George and Anthony reminds him of another recent superteam that featured three stars.

"With Oklahoma City, they kind of remind you of the older Miami teams," Kidd said. "Where live ball turnovers turn into dunks or 3s. So just talking to the guys, we got to be able to take care of the ball and get good shots. But if there are turnovers, understanding Russ is coming, no matter what. It puts a lot of pressure on the defense."

George scored 20 points, hitting 4 of 8 from 3-point range, and Carmelo Anthony scored eight of his 17 points in the first quarter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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