OKC Thunder notebook: Russell Westbrook seeing reduced minutes

When he returned earlier than expected from offseason knee surgery, 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.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: November 11, 2013


photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, makes a drive on Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, makes a drive on Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Jennings, right, in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, Nov. 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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.


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...
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