For the first time this postseason, the Houston Rockets will be at full strength. When they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight, Russell Westbrook will finally be on the hardwood.
Westbrook hasn’t played yet this postseason due to a quad injury. Houston has been very cautious with the All-Star guard since he relies so much on his quickness and ability to contort his body when driving to the rim.
It’s not too surprising that Westbrook will be active for Game 5, especially after hearing how he looked during the team’s scrimmage on Friday. According to ESPN reporter Tim MacMahon, the former MVP looked “as explosive as ever.”
With the series between the Rockets and Thunder currently tied, Westbrook’s return could play a major factor in which team advances to the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Rockets have confirmed that Russell Westbrook is playing in tonight’s Game 5 against Oklahoma City
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 29, 2020
The Rockets are certainly happy to have Westbrook back, but he might not play his usual 36 minutes per game. When talking about Westbrook’s return to the team, Mike D’Antoni said “I’m sure he’ll have time restraints.”
Arguably the best part about Westbrook playing tonight is that he’ll have the chance to compete against his former team. After all, Oklahoma City was his home for over a decade.
Westbrook’s transition to Houston has been pretty smooth, as he averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists during the regular season.
Tipoff for tonight’s Rockets-Thunder game is at 6:30 p.m. ET from HP Field House.
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