Royce Young at Daily Thunder just reported that Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery for a meniscus tear in his knee and is out indefinitely. The injury may have been the result of this collision between Westbrook and Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley during the second quarter of Thursday night’s Thunder-Rockets game.
Westbrook, who was named to the All-NBA Second Team in each of the last two seasons, has never missed a game in his NBA career (nor did he miss any games during his two years at UCLA). Without Westbrook—who averages 23.2 points and 7.2 assists in 34.9 minutes per game for the Thunder—Oklahoma City will have to rely on back-up point guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson played well in the first two games of the Thunder’s playoff series against Houston, but he’s no Russell Westbrook. Moving Jackson into the starting lineup leaves Oklahoma City without much backcourt depth, meaning Derek Fisher will have to play significant minutes.
Westbrook’s absence opens things up in the West. Without their second best player the top-seeded Thunder are no longer the prohibitive favorite, and could have trouble with the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies series if they advance to the next round.
Trey Kerby of The Basketball Jones on the Westbrook injury: “Just imagine the outfits Russ is going to come up with on the bench.”
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