Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder were one of the heavy favorites to win the title going into the playoffs. With a healthy Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, there was no telling what this team could do when it all was on the line. But, that is, when they are healthy.
In the first round against the Houston Rockets, Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus when Patrick Beverly went for a steal. After knowing he’d be out for the rest of the postseason, most fans were then wondering just how much longer until the Thunder were bounced.
Going into 2013, Westbrook thought he had healed properly and had faith that he could start the season. But, it came down to him needing another surgery this week in order to completely repair the knee. Now out four to six weeks, Westbrook’s return will have to wait just a bit longer.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti told ESPN that it was worth the peace of mind to lose Westbrook this early on.
“Of course, both from the standpoint we’d like to have him on the floor as soon as possible, but in this case, although we lose a little bit of time, we gained a tremendous amount of confidence in the actual progression and recovery process of the knee itself,” he said.
In the meantime, Reggie Jackson will be asked to fill the void left by Westbrook. In the playoffs, Jackson did a fairly decent job averaging just under 14 points per game. In order to compensate completely for Westbrook’s loss, Jackson will have to step it up a bit more than that.