Westbrook Out Tonight Against Nuggets
As many of us suspected Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook will sit out tonight's game with the injury depleted Denver Nuggets.
"Russell won't play tonight, but he will play tomorrow night," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks told reporters just before the game.
"He practiced yesterday and looked great," Brooks said before tonight’s game. “His minutes restrictions are still the same, about 30 a game and then not playing in one game of a back-to-back.”
Brooks said several factors go into the decision on which games of a given back-to-back that Westbrook will play and won’t play but he declined to elaborate on exactly what’s involved.
A Saturday MRI on Westbrook’s right knee revealed no areas of concern after he and Toronto guard Kyle Lowry banged knees Friday night. “I felt great after the game, but we had to make sure everything was good,” Westbrook said yesterday after practice.
Oklahoma City is still without starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha (strained calf) and starting center Kendrick Perkins (strained groin). Rookies Andre Roberson and Steven Adams will again fill-in. And tonight they will also be without third team center Hasheem Thabeet who is out for personal reasons.
"We've played a lot of small lineups against Denver and a lot of their bigs are out, so I don't think just having one center will bother us too much," Brooks said.
The Thunder have had their most injury plagued season since moving to OKC from Seattle. Their normal first unit has only started 20 of the team’s 69 games.
The Nuggets are also struggling with injuries. Wilson Chandler didn’t play last night because of a strained groin and will also be out tonight, “well I wrote on the board, ‘and then there are nine’,” said Nuggets coach Bryan Shaw a few minutes ago in the back hallway.
Jan Vesely is also out tonight after a rib injury last night. Denver has already lost J.J. Hickson, Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee and Nate Robinson to season ending injuries.
Though they've lost a couple of shooter to injury the Nuggets have apparently found one too. Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur has made seven 3s in his last three games. That’s two more than in his previous four NBA seasons.
After losing their first three games after the All-Star break the Thunder have now won eight of their last 11. The Nuggets have won five of their last seven.
Our cameras will be in the lockerroom after the game so click back to see hear what they had to say.