By Randy Renner
Thunder superstar point guard Russell Westbrook is back in the starting lineup tonight for OKC's game against Philadelphia but center Steven Adams, who is close to returning, is still out.
Westbrook will wear a clear mask and a headband to secure it. Head coach Scott Brooks says there will not be any sort of minutes restirctions on Westbrook but getting used to that mask hasn't been easy.
"He's not used to wearing a mask, but knowing Russell I'm sure he'll find a way to have a grat game," Brooks said.
Westbrook is coming off three straight games where he has registered triple-doubles and is the first player since Michael Jordan in the 1988-89 season to have six straight games with at least 20 points, 10 assists and five rebounds.
Warming up before tonight's game Westbrook seemed fine and not bothered at all by the mask.
Thunder center Steven Adams is very close to returning, Brooks labeled his status as day-to-day yesterday, but the "Big Kiwi" will not make his return against the Sixers tonight.
Philadelphia has also had some injury issues, forward Robert Covington their leading scorer, is out tonight with an elbow injury.
Thunder fans will see the return of Ish Smith, who before the trade deadline was OKC's third team pojnt guard. He was sent to New Orleans and the Pelicans waived him. He was then signed by the Sixers. Philly also has Hollis Thompson on the roster, Thompson was on the Thunder's training camp roster a couple of seasons ago.
Tipoff is set for 7:10, our entire InsideThunder crew has made it to the arena and we'll have complete coverage throughout the game and then then interviews with coach Brooks and players after the game.