Russell Westbrook Injury A Blessing In Disguise For Oklahoma City Thunder?

By Ryan Gaydos
Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is out indefinitely after tearing his lateral meniscus in Game 2 against the Houston Rockets.

He injured himself in the second quarter but continued to play and after learning about the injury, many believe that the Thunder’s championship hopes are in jeopardy. No one believes that the Thunder can make it to the conference finals, let a lone the NBA Finals again this season.

Losing Westbrook is horrible, but it could also be a blessing in disguise.

Westbrook has not missed a single game in his career. He has played in every single game since being drafted by the Thunder in the 2008 NBA Draft. Since then, he has led the league in turnovers twice and has shot over 40 percent every season since his second year.

The problem with Westbrook is that he is a point guard trying to be the primary scorer. His assists per game dipped last season after being eight-plus from 2009-2011. In the two games against the Rockets, he was 7-of-15 and 10-of-26 from the field. Taking a good amount of shots like that is not good for the team, and for him to continuously do that down the road impedes the progress of the Thunder as whole.

Replacing him at the point would be Reggie Jackson and Derek Fisher. Jackson is in his second season and saw his minutes increase this season. He is still learning as a player but does not take as many shots as Westbrook, leaving the door open for Kevin Durant to be the primary scorer and for Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins to get better looks in the post.

Fisher is a five-time NBA champion and brings a world of experience to the Thunder. He knows how to deal with a scorer like Durant and big man options down low. He’s been there before and knows the game very well.

You may think that losing Westbrook is the end of the world, but everyone needs to take a step back and know that the ball is going to go through Durant even more than it does now. Oklahoma City is more well-rounded than it has ever been.

Ryan Gaydos is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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