OKC Thunder notebook: Scott Brooks to keep Russell Westbrook on a minute restriction

Oklahoma City's star guard returns during loss to Miami, but he played a season-low 24 minutes. Thunder fans should get used to that.
by Anthony Slater Published: February 20, 2014

Russell Westbrook played a season-low 24 minutes on Thursday night.

And for the near future, Thunder fans should get used to it. That's by design.

Before the game, coach Scott Brooks talked of a game plan to limit Westbrook's minutes and potentially rest him all together on back-to-backs during the second half of the season.

“That's something that we will read as the days go by,” Brooks said.

Westbrook said against Miami, the plan was to get him about 25 minutes.

“Minute restriction to start off, which is totally fine with me,” Westbrook said. “Doctors and the training staff talked about that and it's fine with me.”

Also, the upcoming schedule plays into Westbrook's advantage. OKC's next five games are at home, with two days off in between each of the next two.

Westbrook had 16 points, five rebounds and three steals against the Heat, looking rusty at times, but like his old self during spurts.

LEBRON SHOOTS DOWN RIVALRY TALK

Many have already billed the Thunder-Heat as a budding rivalry.

LeBron James disagrees. And he's got an example and some stats to back that up.

“It's hard to say rivalry when you see North Carolina and Duke,” James said pregame. “North Carolina and Duke have played 85 times, and North Carolina has outscored them by two points in 85 meetings and North Carolina is 43-42, I believe in the all-time series. That's a rivalry. This isn't a rivalry.”


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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