Westbrook is back for the Thunder

And OKC needs some shooting help quick

11/6/13 in NBA   |   andrewgilman   |   20 respect

OKLAHOMA CITY – Russell Westbrook was just as surprised as the rest of us.
 
Not about why the All-Star guard returned to the court about a month sooner than anyone thought or expected, but why anyone would actually think it would take that long.
 
"Who told you that?" Westbrook asked.
 
Nov 3, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) attempts a shot against the Phoenix Suns during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY SportsOK, so while the rest of us were led to believe Westbrook wouldn't be returning until about Christmas time, the Thunder superstar made his season debut Sunday night against Phoenix.
 
Maybe it was because of the Derrick Rose situation in Chicago that the Thunder wanted to remain quiet on Westbrook's situation. Ever since the injury, which happened last April against Houston in the first round of the playoffs, OKC officials have stayed away from suggesting any timetable for Westbrook's return.
 
Westbrook had 21 points and keyed a 30-17 run to finish the game as the Thunder won against the Suns and now everything is back to about normal for Oklahoma City.
 
So far this season, the Thunder have struggled to shoot the ball, going just 39.4 percent from the floor (29th in the league) as a team. Some of that certainly has to do with Westbrook not being in the starting lineup, but Serge Ibaka has not shot it well and neither has Reggie Jackson or Thabo Sefolosha, players the Thunder need to make 3-pointers. OKC is last in the league in 3-point shooting at 22 percent.
 
But that should definitely change for the better once Westbrook gets going.
 
"I think it gave everybody a boost to know another one of our brothers is able to gout there with us and fight," guard Jeremy Lamb said. "It was a great feeling for everybody."
 
Westbrook will get his second chance this season Wednesday against the Mavericks in Oklahoma City.
 
"Could be better," Westbrook said. "That's expected. I'm not expected to come back and be Bionic Man. I'm just going to work my way through it."
 
Westbrook better hope the rest of his teammates do, too.
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