Shawn Marion: Lay off Russell Westbrook

DALLAS – Kevin Durant and several other Oklahoma City players stuck up for heavily criticized point guard Russell Westbrook after the Thunder’s playoff run came to an end.

Yet perhaps the most passionate defense of Westbrook came from the Mavericks’ locker room.

Shawn Marion shot down a question about Westbrook’s shot selection. Matrix points out that Westbrook attempting 28 shots in Game 5 should be considered evidence that he’s a point guard trying to save possessions, not that he’s a selfish player.

“He didn’t have any choice but to shoot some of those shots, because we were denying everybody else the ball,” said Marion, the Mavs’ primary defender on Kevin Durant. “When you deny everybody else from catching the ball, he ain’t got no choice but to go one-on-one.

“Don’t talk bad about that man, because he’s competing out there and he’s playing hard on both ends of the floor. When you deny people from catching the ball, he’s got no choice but to shoot it. Don’t kill him. I don’t like that. He is out there playing hard and competing.”