The 2016 summer in the NBA world was dominated by the decision made by Kevin Durant to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson in Golden State. While the expectations are sky high for the Golden State Warriors, the critics weren't so optimistic of the Thunder headed into the season. The biggest question was how Russell Westbrook could handle being the star of the organization.

Westbrook has always been able to fill up the stat sheet, as he put up numbers last season in the NBA that haven't been seen since Oscar Robertson. However, it was the mental part of the game that had these critics worried, mainly how Westbrook would handle playing with less talented guys.Though the season is still young, Westbrook has shown he is ready to take his game to an even higher level.

He has helped guide the team to a 6-2 start, with the only two losses coming to two of the elite teams in the league, Golden State and Toronto.

Russell Westbrook putting up MVP numbers

He is still putting up the video game-like numbers, as he is averaging 31.3 points, 9.5 assists and 8.3 rebounds. However, for the people closest to the organization and really breaking down his game, it is the non-statistics that are sticking out. Throughout his career, he has been known to show frustration with his teammates when things didn't go as planned. While he will still do this on occasion, he has done a much better job of trusting his teammates and allowing them to grow.

He has also stepped it up on the defensive end, where throughout his career, he has been known to take too many high risk, low reward types of gambles.

For the Thunder to be competitive this season, they are going to have to defend at a high level. Gone are the days where they have two of the five best scorers in the league, and can simply outscore most opponents. This season, they have to grind it out, dominate the glass and limit turnovers.

There is no doubt the Thunder are going to have their struggles this year, especially against elite teams as they simply aren't as talented as they have been in the past.

However, Westbrook has shown throughout the early part of this season that he is up to the challenge. When he signed his contract extension, he not only took the throne for the Thunder, but he also became the King of Oklahoma. If he continues to play like this, he will be taking a different throne, and that is as the best Basketball player in the world.

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