The West Without Westbrook
You could make a strong argument that Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russel Westbrook is the best scoring point guard in the National Basketball Association. But now that the Thunder’s superstar is out with a torn meniscus, Oklahoma City looks for new ways to win the Western Conference.
No, I have not forgotten about OKC’s other star Keven Durant, AKA that really spanking tall point guard. Durant is not a point guard, but that is the position Thunder Coach Scott Brooks has him playing with Russel Westbrook unavailable. KD has given the Thunder a large lift so far; they have already defeated the Houston Rockets in six games to start the playoffs. However, with the Memphis Grizzlies not backing down and the San Antonio Spurs future date being planned, the Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder will have to dig deep to come out of the West. Coach Brooks needs a new scheme unique to this team, preferably one without a 7’0” point guard.
The logical choice for point guard is 6’3″ Sophomore point guard Reggie Jackson. Although Jackson’s playing time has increased after the injury of Westbrook, he has not see the same amount of time as a normal starting point guard would. Scott Brooks should try and fit his fill-in point guard into the rotation a little more.
Kevin Martin needs to step it up considerably if the finals are in the Thunder’s future. As OKC’s second-hand man, Martin is only averaging 14.1 points per game, a number that Westbrook had nearly doubled to begin the playoffs. But, it is unreasonable to believe that Kevin Martin would be putting up Russel Westbrook numbers. For one thing, he does not have the freak athletic ability like Russel, nor the motor. Martin looks at times like he wishes he was anywhere but on the basketball court.
So do the Thunder have a chance in the West? No. Without their primary play maker, OKC has no chance in a loaded West that includes the veteran Spurs and the Stephen Curry led Warriors. With the loss of Russel Westbrook, to go along with Coach Brooks’ lack of quality adjustments, Oklahoma City is all but sunk. However, I have been wrong before, and any team with Kevin Durant is a force to be reckoned with.
- Russell Westbrook has torn meniscus, Thunder says no timetable for return (aol.sportingnews.com)
- Russell Westbrook Tears Meniscus + Out For Playoffs (swaggatory.com)
- Westbrook officially out for playoffs following knee surgery (probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Kevin Durant’s New Challenge (huffingtonpost.com)