It’s expected for the Oklahoma City Thunder to play it safe when it comes to Russell Westbrook during the rest of the regular season.
Westbrook is sitting on the second night of back-to-back’s, and is even seeing some minute counts. However, once the playoffs come, you’d almost expect all that to end. Right?
According to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman, it still hasn’t been decided if Westbrook will remain on a minute count come playoff time.
Scott Brooks said he isn't sure if Westbrook's minute restriction will be lifted in the postseason. Said it's something they have to discuss
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 24, 2014
Obviously, the Thunder are a better team when Westbrook is healthy and without restrictions, but this season Kevin Durant has showed that he can keep the Thunder afloat (at the very least) without him. Still, if OKC wants to win a title, it’s going to be with Westbrook on the court, not with him off it.
It’s not rocket science. The Thunder need Westbrook off a minute count once the playoffs start. The last thing you want heading into a war is a bullet count. If OKC heads into the battle ground that is going to be the Western Conference Playoffs with a limited Westbrook, it’s not going to be good.