By Randy Renner
You have to wonder now, especially since it's Halloween, just who in the heck is sticking pins in voodoo dolls dressed in Thunder uniforms.
How else can you explain this?
Many of you probably saw point guard Russell Westbrook hurt his right hand last night in the second quarter of the Thunder's game with the Clippers. You might not have stayed up long enough to hear that Westbrook had been diagnosed with a broken bone (the second metacarpal) in his right hand.
So now the Thunder have seven of their 15 players on the injury list, including both their superstars as Westbrook joins Kevin Durant (who has a broken foot) on the bench in street clothes.
"It's just really pretty unbelievable, you're kind of shocked almost," admitted Thunder forward Nick Collison to reporters after the game. Collison was on that lengthy injury list himself most of training camp with a sprained ankle.
The Thunder have played surprisingly well in their first two games, leading Portland through three quarters before losing Wednesday night and keeping things close with the Clippers in Los Angeles last night before losing 93-90.
But now without Durant and Westbrook you have to wonder how in the world the Thunder can keep their heads above water in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
"It's unfortunate the way it is right now, but that's the way it is," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "We have to figure it out together."
One thing the Thunder can do is get a little bit of relief through the NBA's hardship rule. A team must have at least four players who will miss at least two weeks of playing time and who have already missed at least three games.
On Saturday, the Thunder will qualify with Durant, Anthony Morrow, Mitch McGary and Grant Jerrett all having missed their third game and all projected to be sidelined for at least another month or so.
Westbrook is also expected to miss at least a month and Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb are on the injured list too but Jackson could come back from his sprained ankle Saturday and Lamb (strained back) might be able to make the next road trip.
Collison could only shake his head at this latest incredible injury news.
"It's not funny at all," he said without even the hint of a smile, "but you almost have to laugh about it because it's so many guys."