Russell Westbrook will miss the first six weeks of the NBA season, leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder at a disadvantage. According to NewsOK.com on Oct. 1, Reggie Jackson will start in place of Westbrook for those 23 games.
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks does not believe that his team is down and out without Westbrook. He just said they need to find other ways to win.
That might be easier said than done since, after Westbrook went down in the 2012-13 playoffs, the Thunder looked nothing like the championship team that they looked like in the regular season. They lost one of their team leaders and the rest of the team struggled.
One difference between the team this year and last year is the absence of the superstar sixth man, the role that James Harden, and then Kevin Martin, filled. The Thunder chose not to sign a new sixth man and will instead rely on their bench to play as a team when a star leaves the court.
That starts with Reggie Jackson, who after two seasons of learning, is ready to prove he belongs in the NBA. Derek Fisher is also back, and is young prospect Jeremy Lamb. That is three point guards that can work as a tandem to replace Westbrook as the season starts.
Problem is that Fisher is old and slower, Lamb is young and inexperienced, and Jackson is an exciting young player who can’t be expected to replace Westbrook as the heart and soul of the offense. There are still stars on the court in Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka, but Durant will remain double-teamed without Westbrook out there and Ibaka is streaky at best.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have no other options, so fans will have to cheer for their replacement guards and hope for the best as Westbrook prepares to come back and play sometime late in November.