After a scare against the Toronto Raptors in which Russell Westbrook left the game with an injury to his surgically repaired knee, the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard sat out Monday night's win over the Denver Nuggets. It was supposed to be in accordance to the Thunder's plan of limiting Westbrook's minutes and not having him play both games of a back-to-back.
Thunder fans shouldn't worry about that being just lip service to cover up a greater concern about Westbrook. He'll play Tuesday night against the Dallas Mavericks.
Westbrook has had three surgeries on his right knee since injuring it in a collision with Patrick Beverley in the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs. One was to repair a lateral tear in his meniscus and the other two have essentially been cleanup procedures for the knee and the initial surgery. The Thunder have done a great job of surviving without Westbrook this year and are within striking distance of home court advantage in the playoffs.
However, making sure Westbrook is healthy and 100 percent when the playoffs come is essential for the Thunder getting back to the NBA Finals.