Kyle Singler will start when the Thunder host the Lakers tonight, and that’s not necessarily a setback for the starting lineup. Singler spaces the floor and handles the ball better than Roberson, though Roberson defends better. It’s a tradeoff in style more than ability.
But if Singler is no longer coming of the bench, Oklahoma City’s bench is weakened. Either Scott Brooks shortens the rotation or gives more chances to Jeremy Lamb, Perry Jones and/or Steve Novak.
Either way, the pressure remains on Russell Westbrook to carry a huge load. He’s done well so far, but if the Thunder keep losing rotation players, eventually they’ll ask more of their starting point guard than he can deliver.
The door is still open, even just a crack, for Phoenix and New Orleans.
Pau Gasol spins baseline for impressive slam vs. Thunder (VIDEO)
Pau Gasol is one of the game’s most skilled big men, and he showed it early in Thursday night’s contest between the Bulls and the Thunder.
As Andre Roberson attempted to be physical with Gasol in the post, once Gasol had the ball and his defender in position, he used a quick move to spin baseline for the easy slam dunk, leaving Roberson in the dust.
Russell Westbrook undergoes procedure to address cheek fracture, will be re-evaluated next week
In the final seconds of the Thunder’s 115-112 loss to the Trail Blazers on Friday night, Russell Westbrook missed a free throw, ran in for a rebound and collided with teammate Andre Roberson’s knee. He stayed in the game but there was a visible dent in the side of his head. And it’s going to cost him games.
Thunder say Russell Westbrook had procedure to address a fracture to the zygomatic arch of his right cheek & will be re-evaluated next week
The timing of this is awful for the Thunder, who are still without Kevin Durant and just lost back-to-back games to the Suns and Blazers on the road. They hold a one-game lead over the Suns and Pelicans for the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Now, they have to get through a few more days without either of their superstars.
The good news is that Westbrook’s injury doesn’t look to be long-term.
Russell Westbrook won’t miss much time with surgery. “If he had a playoff game (Sunday), he could play,” league source tells Yahoo Sports.
With 2.5 seconds left in the game and his Thunder down three to the Trail Blazers, Russell Westbrook drew a foul in the act of shooting and got three free throws. Hit them all and overtime was likely, but he missed the first one. He made the second then intentionally tried to miss the third (it bounced in), and as he took that final shot he charged forward trying to get the rebound.
Westbrook fell to the floor and while trying to get back up was incidentally kneed in the head by teammate Andre Roberson.
After that, there was a visible dent in Westbrook’s head. You can see it in this photo.
Westbrook was evaluated by doctors after the game but did not speak to the media.
There are concerns the dent could be the sign if something more serious, reports Royce Young of ESPN.
Some speculation Westbrook's dent could be a fracture of the zygomatic arch. JR Smith had one last year and played through it wearing a mask