Oklahoma City Thunder: A game-by-game look at how Russell Westbrook's absence could affect OKC

A look at each game Russell Westbrook could miss if he is sidelined the first six weeks of the regular season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Tuesday and how his absence could affect the Thunder.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 1, 2013
Advertisement
;

photo - Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) fights Houston's James Harden (13) for a rebound during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 22, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) fights Houston's James Harden (13) for a rebound during Game 1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, April 22, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

A look at each game Russell Westbrook could miss if he is sidelined the first six weeks of the regular season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Tuesday and how his absence could affect the Thunder.

DATE; OPPONENT; 2012-13 RECORD; 2012-13 SERIES

Oct. 30; at Utah; 43-39; 3-1

What to watch for: Don't expect much difficulty here. With the Jazz in full-blown rebuilding mode, Utah could be the Western Conference's worst team.

Nov. 1; at Minnesota; 31-51; 2-2

What to watch for: Even with a healthy Westbrook, the Thunder struggled last season against the Wolves. Now, the Wolves are healthy and more talented.

Nov. 3; Phoenix; 25-57; 4-0

What to watch for: The Suns are also starting over and expected to be another cellar dweller in the West. OKC couldn't have asked for a better home opener.

Nov. 6; Dallas; 41-41; 4-0

What to watch for: The Mavs-Thunder matchup is always a good one. But with the Thunder at home and Dallas integrating new pieces, OKC still has the edge.

Nov. 8; at Detroit; 29-53; 2-0

What to watch for: The Pistons are another retooled team with Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings. But the Thunder is 3-1 all-time at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Nov. 10; Washington; 29-53; 1-1

What to watch for: Wizards point guard John Wall is now healthy and expected to be a handful. Because Westbrook could neutralize him, this could be the first game the Thunder truly misses its All-Star point guard. Reggie Jackson will have his hands full.

Nov. 13; at L.A. Clippers; 56-26; 3-0

What to watch for: Here's where the schedule toughens. Chris Paul is one of the game's best regardless of positions, and the Thunder's offense will be hard-pressed to keep up with the high-octane Clippers without Westbrook.

Nov. 14; at Golden State; 47-35; 3-1

What to watch for: A back-to-back that's as tough as it gets. Golden State is a legitimate threat, and the Warriors' guards have given the Thunder fits in the past.

Nov. 16; at Milwaukee; 38-44; 1-1

What to watch for: Newcomers Brandon Knight and O.J. Mayo figure to be the Bucks' starting backcourt. Neither will be too much for Reggie Jackson and Thabo Sefolosha.

Nov. 18; Denver; 57-25; 1-3

What to watch for: The Thunder couldn't keep speedster Ty Lawson and the Nuggets out of the paint at any point last season. Only way to go is up.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    UNC hires Zac Selmon as Associate Director of Athletics
  2. 2
    Wendy's: Tests build-your-own burger
  3. 3
    Teen arrested for making threats on Facebook
  4. 4
    Blake Griffin replaced by John Wall on US World Cup roster
  5. 5
    Two Texas players under investigation 'immediately eligible'
+ show more