RUSSELL WESTBROOK SEEING REDUCED MINUTES
When he returned earlier than expected from offseason knee surgery, Russell Westbrook was said to be free from any restrictions on his playing time. But through his first four games, Westbrook has yet to play more than 33 minutes.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks on Monday, however, called it a coincidence.
“Reggie (Jackson) has been playing good minutes,” Brooks said. “We're just trying to spread it out a little bit. But he's not on a minute restriction at all. It's by happenstance.”
In his first two games, Westbrook played 32 minutes, 45 seconds. In his fourth outing, Westbrook played only 30 minutes. And against Washington on Sunday, Westbrook again played 30 minutes. Had he not gotten ejected with three minutes remaining, and had the game not gone into overtime, Westbrook would have again finished with 33 minutes.
In each of the previous two seasons, Westbrook averaged almost exactly 35 minutes. His minute average last season was lower in large part because the Thunder's league-best 9.2-point margin of victory allowed Westbrook and the rest of the starters to sit out several games in the fourth quarter.
ROUGH NIGHT FOR THE ROOKIE
Two nights after assembling the best performance of his short career, Steven Adams on Sunday experienced his worst.
The rookie center scored one point, missed all three of his shot attempts, grabbed two rebounds, blocked two shots and committed two fouls and one turnover in 20 minutes.
On Friday at Detroit, Adams amazed with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots in 31 minutes. He made seven of 10 shots in that contest.