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.
- Celtics owner: Rajon Rondo ‘super stubborn,’ harder than average to coach 0
- Bruce Bowen says blame for James Harden’s defense falls on McHale, Rockets 12
- NBA to review domestic violence policies in wake of NFL’s ugliness. It shouldn’t have taken that. 13
- Cavaliers lift ban on fan who ran onto court with LeBron James shirt 15
- Blake Griffin said he knew Donald Sterling was racist, wasn’t really surprised by tape 13
- ProBasketballTalk 2014-15 Preview: Chicago Bulls 11
- Tony Parker hits a back over-the-head halfcourt shot (VIDEO) 8
- Timberwolves ‘not necessarily in a rush’ to agree to contract extension with Ricky Rubio 18