Feb 17, 2014, 8:48 PM EDT
Welcome back Russell Westbrook, as a present we got you the two-time defending NBA champions to deal with. You can thank us later.
“Next game right after the All-Star break, against Miami,” Durant said of Westbrook’s timetable in an interview with Grantland’s Bill Simmons on Friday.
Westbrook has been out since the day after Christmas, having his third knee surgery since the end of the season last April.
In his absence this season, the Thunder have gone 22-8 in part because Durant stepped up his game to MVP levels, averaging 31.5 points and 5.5 assists a game since Westbrook went down. More than just that, the Thunder’s overall ball movement and offensive play has been more fluid, there has been less standing around watching Durant or Westbrook making a play.
That said, remember the Thunder are 21-4 with Westbrook this season. If that ball movement stays with his return, the Thunder move from clear favorite in the West to “I’m not sure anybody can beat these guys” status.
That experiment apparently begins Thursday night.
- Report: Kings probing John Calipari about his interest in coaching and running the team’s front office 12
- Report: Chicago Bulls give Jimmy Butler max qualifying offer 18
- Report: Dwyane Wade will not opt-in with Heat, to become free agent (as expected) 30
- Report: Knicks front runner to land Arron Afflalo (and Greg Monroe, too) 27
- Report: Luol Deng surprises Miami, opts in for 2015-16 season 31
- Report: Sense around league is Kevin Love will re-sign with Cavaliers 31
- Report: As deadline nears, signs still point to Dwyane Wade opting out, becoming free agent 42
- Report: Dallas most likely team to lure DeAndre Jordan from Clippers, Chandler Parsons already recruiting 24