Missing Piece for the OKC Thunder

Jacob Zamarron, Staff Reporter

The 2013-2014 NBA Season looked very promising for the OKC Thunder until Point Guard Russell Westbrook was struck with knee complications once again. Westbrook’s time out hurts the Thunder deeply because Westbrook is a focal point in their offense. Westbrook was forced to go under his third procedure in just 9 months.

The Thunder lost Westbrook last season during the NBA Playoffs due to a torn meniscus tear in the right knee. Every time Westbrook has been absent from play, the Thunder is off of their game. The team does not play at their peak because they are at their best when Westbrook is playing. Before the beginning of the 2013-2014 season Westbrook was looking very good in practice with slight worry of discomfort on his right knee not receding after surgery. Westbrook was just getting adjusted to being back with the Thunder, when on Christmas day, he went down again. After playing the New York Knicks, Westbrook and trainers were very worried about swelling still not receding due to inflammation of the knee after surgery in October. Westbrook then underwent microscopic surgery and is not expected to return until All-Star break.

Since Westbrook has been out, the Thunder has gone 19-6 as of Friday, February 7, 2014, with Small Forward Kevin Durant having to put in enough effort to fill his and Westbrook’s absent spot on the team. Though the Thunder’s record since Westbrook has been gone isn’t terrible, it isn’t great either. The offense seems to have stalled and can only look to Durant for help which causes a struggle. When Westbrook and Durant are on the floor it is easier to distribute scoring responsibilities and the team is able to take over games quicker, leading to winning streaks by the team. Thunder Nation hopes to see a quick recovery, hopefully, with no complications a healthy return of Russell Westbrook. Can the Thunder keep up a strong record while Westbrook is out?