Skip to content

Thunder to rest Russell Westbrook on certain back-to-back sets to finish the season

Mar 15, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

Russell Westbrook Getty Images

The Thunder currently hold a record of 48-17, a game back of the Spurs for the best overall mark in the league.

Finishing the year on top of that race would guarantee home court advantage throughout the playoffs and into the Finals should OKC make it that far, and it’s a goal most teams would kill to have a shot of reaching at this late stage of the season.

But keeping the big picture in mind, the Thunder aren’t planning on going all out to get there.

With a high volume of back-to-back sets the rest of the way, the team is more concerned with preserving its stars for a postseason run, which means willingly taking Russell Westbrook out of the lineup for a handful of games the rest of the way.

From Randy Renner of NBA.com:

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s closing schedule is heavy with back-to-back sets, six of them over the last month of the season, and Thunder head coach Scott Brooks on Saturday said once again that point guard Russell Westbrook will not play in both games of “some” of those sets.

“We have a plan in place” as to which games Westbrook will sit , said Brooks, but he wouldn’t reveal it Saturday after practice.”I’ll let you know at the appropriate time,” he added. …

“We had a plan in place early on when we brought him back and we wanna stick with that,” Brooks said. “We just wanna, while we can, get some time where he can rest in between games.”

There’s been no word of Westbrook experiencing any swelling or discomfort in his surgically-repaired knee, so this appears to be an overly-cautious maneuver by Brooks and the team’s medical staff.

The Thunder play back-to-backs sets over their next four games, the first of which comes at home against Dallas on Sunday and then on the road in Chicago the very next night. The killer set comes on April 3 and 4, at home against the Spurs followed by a road trip in Houston.

We’ll see what the standings look like when each of these games approaches to see if things change, but it appears as though Brooks has already made up his mind.

Latest Posts
  1. Kobe Bryant on Temecula: ‘Mamba Army don’t f— around’

    Dec 29, 2014, 10:37 AM EST

    Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    Kobe amazed by fan who drove nearly an hour to fight on Christmas to fight someone who doubted Kobe’s greatness

  2. Report: Timberwolves signing Miroslav Raduljica to guaranteed contract

    Dec 29, 2014, 9:30 AM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpty5nmqwmwi1ngu5ownhm2m0nwu5zwvjmwzlnmy0njm4 AP

    Center traded by Bucks, waived by Clippers, signed in China since last season

  3. PBT’s Top 10 NBA stories of 2014, No. 8: Kobe Bryant returns

    Dec 29, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

    Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

    He’s back. And the league is more interesting to watch with him in it.

  4. Raptors’ Tyler Hansbrough dunks, J.J. Hickson ends up in poster (VIDEO)

    Dec 29, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    Orlando Magic v Toronto Raptors Getty Images

    Hickson tries to make the right play, but it doesn’t exactly go his way.

  5. Carmelo Anthony sits out second half vs. Portland with sore knee

    Dec 29, 2014, 12:18 AM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwiwm2izn2i3yme1njvjowyzmzi5ywnlndmznzjhztrk AP

    The Knicks next play Wednesday against the Clippers.

  6. Report: Timberwolves expect Ricky Rubio to return in mid-January

    Dec 28, 2014, 10:30 PM EST

    Minnesota Timberwolves v Orlando Magic Getty Images

    Flip Saunders said this a few weeks ago, too, but Rubio isn’t ready to stick to a timeline just yet.

  7. Paul Pierce ‘shocked’ by Celtics trade of Rajon Rondo to Mavericks

    Dec 28, 2014, 7:30 PM EST

    Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo AP

    It had been brewing for a while, but it still caught most of us by surprise.

  8. Lakers claim Tarik Black off waivers, create roster spot by waiving Xavier Henry

    Dec 28, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Houston Rockets v Sacramento Kings Houston Rockets v Sacramento Kings

    Nice move by the Lakers, who pick up a promising big man prospect with an inexpensive non-guaranteed contract.

  9. Kyrie Irving to miss second straight game, out Sunday vs. Pistons

    Dec 28, 2014, 4:29 PM EST

    Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Knee injury suffered on Christmas Day will continue to keep Irving sidelined.

  10. Kobe Bryant will return to Lakers lineup Sunday vs. Suns

    Dec 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    Bryant has uncharacteristically sat out the previous three games simply to rest.

  11. PBT’s Top 10 NBA stories of 2014, No. 9: Eastern Conference inadequacy

    Dec 28, 2014, 9:30 AM EST

    Eric Bledsoe, Marcus Morris AP

    Western Conference ends season with huge advantage, begins another right where it left off

Featured video

Who will land Josh Smith?
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Durant (8719)
  2. K. Bryant (7886)
  3. C. Bosh (6667)
  4. K. Martin (6588)
  5. J. Smith (6537)
  1. K. Leonard (6397)
  2. D. DeRozan (5602)
  3. T. Parker (5516)
  4. A. Bogut (5463)
  5. T. Jones (5443)