Does anybody remember that Russell Westbrook guy? Man, he was pretty good.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are certainly suffering in his absence. They are just 3-5 in the playoffs without their All-Star point guard. With a lot of attention now being drawn to Kevin Durant, the Thunder are having difficulties finding rhythm on offense, and it has forced them on the brink of elimination in their series with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Thunder point guard Reggie Jackson has taken over many of the responsibilities of Westbrook since his season-ending knee injury. Even though Jackson has fared well at being thrown into the fire, averaging 13.7 points on 48 percent shooting in the playoffs, he is still not comparable to the explosive scoring machine that is Westbrook.
Since Westbrook went down with his injury, the Thunder have had close game after close game, and have come up just a bit short in the majority of those games. The Thunder arguably could have won every single playoff game in the absence of Westbrook, but they seem to be lacking one more high-caliber player that can get them over the hump.
The Thunder are now down 3-1 in their series with the Grizzlies. They will have to win three straight to advance to the Western Conference Finals. If they are going to accomplish the historic feat which only eight other teams in NBA history have done, they will have to find other players outside of Durant to contribute offensively.
Durant is certainly doing his part for the Thunder, averaging 31.8 points per game on 47 percent shooting in the playoffs, but if we have learned anything from the Thunder this postseason, it is that a single player cannot win games alone.