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What Westbrook’s Injury Means
The news today was shocking to say the least. Russell Westbrook, the Thunder’s dynamic point guard and half of highest scoring duo in the NBA would be out indefinitely due to surgery on his torn meniscus. Not only was the news pure shock because Westbrook has never missed a game in his basketball career, but also because the Thunder’s title chances are effectively over, after most expected them to rematch with Miami in the Finals. So what does this mean for OKC, Durant and the rest of the playoff teams?
For the Thunder, it means Reggie Jackson will be playing around 36 minutes a night, after averaging only 13 in his short career. It means Derek Fisher will have to do more than he expected when he signed on with the Thunder two months ago. It means a more aggressive Kevin Martin. It means Serge Ibaka as the Thunder’s second best player. But really for OKC, it all starts with one man.
Kevin Durant said in Sports Illustrated this week that he’s tired of being second. Well now, without Westbrook, OKC may not advance far enough to even be second. Durant has absolutely no reason to hold anything back now. Going for 40+ points will have to be the norm, and even that won’t guarantee a Thunder win. The Thunder have always been Durant’s team, and now, the man who helps him (most of the time) run the show is gone. For the rest of these playoffs, everyone will be giving KD the same advice: Just keep shooting.
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