Life without Westbrook

Houston comes to OKC as Thunder try to move on without Westbrook

12/30/13 in NBA   |   andrewgilman   |   20 respect

OKLAHOMA CITY – Time for the Thunder to make the most of the situation.
 
Despite having the best record in the Western Conference, OKC will be without Russell Westbrook until at least the All-Star break as the All-Star guard went through a third, right knee operation in the past year.
 
Westbrook had a triple-double Wednesday at New York, but Friday the team announced he had surgery to correct what would have become a debilitating situation.
 
Dec 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) splits the defense of New York Knicks point guard Beno Udrih (18) and shooting guard J.R. Smith (8) during the first quarter of a game at Madison Square Garden. The Thunder defeated the Knicks 123-94. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsAnd Sunday, the first home game since the announcement, coach Scott Brooks wouldn't put a timetable on when Westbrook would return, but he did suggest the team would be just fine.
 
"It's not ideal to have any of our players go out of the lineup," Brooks said. "You have choices to make but you have to figure ways to make it work. We've done a good job over the years. We have to figure out how to continue to improve."
 
Brooks said Westbrook would need to go through a number of steps before returning for 24-5 OKC.
 
"I see him every day," Brooks said of Westbrook. "I see him go through the rehab process. He has benchmarks that are set and he has to reach them before he gets on the court. That's always been the case. It always will be. Until he's ready, he won't be on the court." 
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