Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni speaks out on Russell Westbrook’s current status
Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni provided an update with regards to Russell Westbrook’s status during Monday morning’s media availability.
Westbrook, who was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Rockets this offseason, is still recovering from an offseason knee procedure. D’Antoni says Russ is healthy, but the team is taking a cautious approach to his return. That means the eight-time All-Star won’t be making his debut until the third or fourth preseason game:
“He’s gonna work into it,” D’Antoni said. “We don’t know exactly how many games it will take him. He hasn’t played all summer, because he’s been rehabbing. We’re gonna get a bunch of practices under his belt before he goes on the floor.
“He’s already had two good practices,” D’Antoni added, referring to Westbrook. “He’s not quite ready today. When he feels ready to go, he’ll go.”
Mike D’Antoni says Russell Westbrook won’t play tonight, maybe not until the third or fourth preseason game, but also says that could change: “He’s had two good practices and he’s not quite ready today..When he feels ready to go, he’ll go.” #Rockets pic.twitter.com/DWUcOMFORk
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) September 30, 2019
The Athletic reported Monday that Westbrook is expected to make his debut on Oct. 8.
Westbrook is coming off a great season. In 73 appearances with the Thunder (all starts), the 30-year-old native of Long Beach racked up averages of 22.9 points on 42.8 percent shooting from the field (29.0 percent from beyond the arc), 11.1 rebounds, 10.7 assists and 1.9 steals in 36.0 minutes per outing. For the record, his 10.7 assists per game were a career high.
The Rockets finished the 2018-19 regular season with an impressive 53-29 overall record, which earned the team a No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, though, Houston was defeated by the Golden State Warriors in the second round, 4-2.
Now that they’ve been reunited, let’s see if Westbrook and James Harden can lead the Rockets on another postseason run.
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