OKC Thunder notebook: Hasheem Thabeet saddened by death of his idol, Nelson Mandela

A variety of NBA players expressed their gratitude for the legacy left behind by one of the world's greatest humanitarians.
by Anthony Slater Published: December 6, 2013
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RUSSELL WESTBROOK PLAYS DESPITE ILLNESS

Russell Westbrook missed the Thunder shootaround on Friday because of illness, but he felt well enough by game-time to play.

 

His health has been an area of concern as of late for Thunder fans.

 

In addition to two offseason knee surgeries, his kamikaze style has left him susceptible to a physical pounding. On Wednesday in Portland, Westbrook took a few rough falls and was seen limping toward the end of the game.

 

But according to Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks, Westbrook felt fine postgame and his health shouldn't be an issue moving forward.

 

“It was a physical game (in Portland),” Brooks said. “I think both teams after that game felt that they were in a physical game. That's how we like to play. But he's fine.”

 

STAT OF NOTE

 Entering play on Friday, Reggie Jackson had the third-highest on-court, off-court differential in the NBA (via NBA.com's John Schuhmann). When Jackson is on the court, the Thunder outscore opponents by 17.4 points per game. When he's off, OKC is being outscored by 7.4 points per game. Only John Wall and Kevin Love have a higher differential.

 QUOTABLE

 Scott Brooks on his team's defensive versatility: “If you want to be special in this league, you have to be able to guard points, wings, inside game, offensive rebounding teams, smash-mouth teams, high-flying teams and three-point teams. And I think we have the personnel with the depth of our team that we can guard varieties of styles.”

UP NEXT

The Thunder returns home on Sunday, squaring off with the Indiana Pacers, who currently hold the league's best record at 17-2. Tip is 6 p.m.


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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