NBA.com is reporting that Oklahoma City Thunder point guard, Russell Westbrook could return to action in two weeks. The Thunder initially said that Westbrook would be out until at least December after a second surgery on his injured knee set the timetable back. Although nothing is for sure at this point, it’s good to know that Westbrook’s health is looking better by the day.
If Westbrook does indeed return in two weeks, the Thunder still will have to play some games without him. Their season opener is tonight against the Utah Jazz.
The common belief seems to be that the Thunder is just a mediocre team without Westbrook. I’m not one of those people who believe that. Westbrook’s replacement Reggie Jackson has already shown that he can handle the lead role. Jackson did all he could when Westbrook went down, but the lack of production from other key players eventually sealed the Thunder’s fate in last year’s playoffs.
Now with Kevin Martin gone to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jackson and talented swing-man Jeremy Lamb will both have more opportunities to showcase their skills. Let’s imagine that Westbrook returns for the Thunder’s November 16 matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks; the Thunder would have already played eight games in his absence. Their toughest games would be the two road games against the Los Angeles Clippers and the Golden State Warriors.
With a relatively light schedule and the star power of Kevin Durant, the Thunder should be easily be able win more games than they lose. That’ll put them in a great position when Westbrook does finally lace up his kicks.
With all the good news lately regarding Westbrook’s injury, the Thunder are close to being 100 percent healthy early in the 2013-14 NBA season. With that being the case, expect the Thunder to be able to find their identity a little quicker than we expected. Thunder fans worldwide have been patiently awaiting the return of their beloved superstar — a return that could come very soon.