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Oklahoma City Thunder: Will Russell Westbrook still be Thunder's Blue Streak?

ON-COURT ATTITUDE — On the surface, it doesn't seem like a severe setback. But with a long history of NBA talent losing career-long battles to that fragile joint, and Derrick Rose's knee complications fresh on everybody's mind, concern reigns.
by Anthony Slater Modified: October 26, 2013 at 5:17 pm •  Published: October 27, 2013

Dwyane Wade says Russell Westbrook makes the Thunder “very special.”

Kendrick Perkins credits Westbrook with giving “our team swag,” with giving Perkins swag.

Through the first five years of his NBA career, Westbrook has established himself as an elite player while averaging 19.9 points, 6.9 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals.

But it's not numbers that make Westbrook Westbrook.

It's the on-court attitude he brings, infusing a constant flow of energy, whether it's a mid-February laugher against Toronto or Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

Put simply, Westbrook is a 6-foot-3, 200-pound blue streak, playing at a breakneck end-to-end pace, unaware or unbothered by potential obstacles.

He's a matchup nightmare for opposing point guards, confidently believing he's the best player on the court and mercilessly trying to embarrass you to prove it.

“There's no one else like him in the NBA," Heat star Wade told reporters during the 2012 Finals. “Personally, I think he's the most athletic guy in the NBA for what he does and how he does it and how quick he does it.”

But with the 2013-14 season set to tip, doubts linger.

Coming off a second surgery on his right knee, this one an arthroscopic procedure to clean up complications from a meniscus tear, Westbrook isn't expected back until December.

On the surface, it doesn't seem like a severe setback. And the Thunder brass remains publicly confident that he'll return as explosive as ever. He's even been seen dunking during the portions of practice that he's able to participate.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as'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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