SAM PRESTI ON THE BENCH
Additionally, Presti seemed think this additional time would help various players, giving them added opportunity to grow.
“(We need to) use it productively so that we're a better team, a more fully formed team, when he returns than the one he last played on, on Christmas Day,” Presti told the Sports Animal.
But he also is well-aware of the struggles that have manifested in Westbrook's absence, particularly in OKC's once-productive but now scuffling bench.
“Earlier this season, the bench was our greatest strength … That group of players had come together and really optimized themselves,” Presti said. “Now, with the injury, obviously there has to be some adjustments. And that affects everybody. It doesn't just affect Reggie (Jackson), it doesn't just affect Jeremy (Lamb), it affects the starters, the bench and on down the line. We have to find ourselves there, but to think there would be a seamless transition would be a bit fairy-tale like.”
Presti on the trade deadline: “We're going to do our due diligence, but we feel good about where we are.”
STAT OF THE DAY
The Thunder is 7-5 this season without Westbrook. That .583 winning percentage is higher than all but two Eastern Conference teams — the Pacers and Heat.