Will Russ play on Friday? “Thunder coach Scott Brooks on Monday didn’t rule out the possibility of Russell Westbrook returning to the lineup as early as Friday against New York. “I don’t know,” Brooks said when asked if a target date of Friday is too early. “I just focus on his work that he put in today and just continue to build off that. He will get evaluated later on this week and then we can make some of those decisions later on.” Westbrook has missed the past 13 games while recovering from a broken right hand. He was originally scheduled to be reevaluated Saturday but has already returned to practice. Westbrook and Kevin Durant, who is recovering from a broken right foot, participated in most of Monday’s practice, including most of the contact drills, Brooks said.”
And who knows about PJ3: It’s now been three weeks since Perry Jones was knocked out of a game at Toronto with a knee injury. And three weeks later, the third-year forward doesn’t appear anywhere near ready to return to the lineup. Jones was diagnosed with a right knee contusion when he bumped knees with Raptors forward Patrick Patterson on a drive to the basket. No timetable was given for Jones’ recovery. “I have no injury update on Perry,” Brooks said. “He hasn’t participated in any parts of practice. He’s just with our medical staff. Just a normal rehab process for his knee. That’s the only thing I know of right now.”
Russ and KD are coming to save the day: “The Thunder have injury issues that go well beyond Westbrook and Durant, though getting back better than 50 percent of their usual scoring output isn’t going to hurt. The jayvee Thunder stayed afloat as best they could—not very well—but with the season nearly a fifth of the way through, it’s definitely time to start kicking back to the surface.”
Personally, I miss Thabo’s pump faking more, but whatever: “We’re talking about inbounding the basketball. “It’s not easy,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “People think it’s easy. ‘Just throw it in.’ But you’re under a lot of heat.” When guard Thabo Sefolosha signed with Atlanta this summer, the Thunder not only lost its best perimeter defender, the team also lost its best inbounder. Sefolosha became a staple and stabilizing presence for the Thunder as a player who could simply get the ball in under pressure, especially in late-game situations. Now that Sefolosha’s wearing a Hawks uniform, the Thunder has spent many of these first 15 games searching for an adequate replacement.”
ROYCE COMES HOME TODAY. If I were Mitch McGary I would insert a few praise hand emojis here.