While Kevin Durant is out, Russell Westbrook has been doing everything to keep the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoff picture and more. But his fluke injury by the hands (or more like knee) of his own teammate could be disastrous for the team’s postseason hopes if he’s out for a long time.
Westbrook underwent a successful procedure to take care of the fracture in the zygomatic arch bone of his right cheek. That fracture was easy to spot at the end of the loss to the Portland Trail Blazers after Andre Roberson collided with Westbrook’s face and a dent appeared on the right side of his face. He’ll miss the Thunder’s next game (@ Lakers, March 1), and from that moment they’ll start evaluating it on a daily basis.
Now, this isn’t a serious injury – Westbrook shouldn’t miss too many games. Maybe one week. But the Thunder are pretty much nothing without him while Durant is also out, although his return is also imminent. The Western conference is tight. The Thunder have managed to claw their way back into the top 8, but both the Suns and the Pelicans are breathing down their necks.
And something worth remembering about Westbrook. He might be on a triple double streak of three games, but that included two losses. He might be more dominant than ever for the Thunder this season, even at the expense of Durant, but it doesn’t make him more important to the Thunder. As good as he can be on an individual level, it doesn’t always make the Thunder better, unless he’s the only option they have, which has been the case for too many times this season.