Rockets to be ‘careful’ with Russell Westbrook after taking 2-0 lead on Thunder
Since they have a 2-0 lead on the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Houston Rockets will continue to be “careful” with superstar point guard Russell Westbrook.
Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni says it makes no sense to rush Westbrook back since he’s so critical to the team’s success.
The former MVP is currently dealing with a quad injury and it’s unknown when he’ll return to the court.
Taking a 2-0 series lead without Russell Westbrook is huge, buying the Rockets more time to rest that quad. “We’re going to be careful with Russ,” said D’Antoni. “He’s too valuable to just throw out there no matter the situation.”
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Houston needs Russell Westbrook to be at 100 percent for the team to ultimately win the championship. Circumstances in the Thunder-Rockets series could change, but it appears Houston doesn’t need Westbrook to defeat OKC in the first round. Some fans in Houston were concerned that OKC could upset the Rockets without Westbrook, but so far, it’s been all systems go for the Rockets.
However, Houston will need Westbrook in the second round against the Los Angeles Lakers or Portland Trail Blazers if it wants to advance and have a shot at making the NBA Finals.
During the regular season, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists in his first season with the Rockets. The 2017 MVP shot 47.2 percent from the field, 25.8 percent from beyond the arc and 76.3 percent from the free-throw line.
The Rockets are scoring the ball at will so far against the Thunder. Not only are the role players on the team gaining more confidence, but Westbrook is getting crucial rest and able to watch the games from bench and see things from a different perspective.
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