Storyline: Russell Westbrook Injury

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4 weeks ago via ESPN

After going through an energetic post-shootaround workout, which included a few emphatic tomahawk dunks, Westbrook met with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s medical staff and decided to sit against the Clippers. He has been increasing his practice workload, including being cleared for basically full-contact practices and drills. “A lot of it is him and the medical staff talking to each other and him giving feedback,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “In my conversations with him, it’s always how he’s feeling the next day. And I think for him, he needs to be right because you don’t want to have something lingering. And he knows his body better than anybody else.”
1 month ago via ESPN

Russell Westbrook is “progressing” and getting nearer to a return, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Thursday, but has not been cleared for full-contact practice yet, leaving his status for the season opener in question. “Every day for him, he feels better and better,” said Donovan, whose team will visit the Golden State Warriors next Tuesday. “I don’t want to say [if he’ll be ready]. I know you guys want to know that, but that’s too far out and there will be a lot of things that will go into that decision.
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November 17, 2018 | 11:24 am EST Update
I can remember sitting in my seat on press row at Wells Fargo Center and thinking to myself, “The Sixers never have the guy who hits a three in that spot.” They’ve squandered all sorts of leads over the years, in part because they’ve never really had that perimeter player who can go out and stop the bleeding. Butler is that guy. “That’s a fantastic debut for him,” said Brown. “He was our bell ringer tonight, and just really validates the excitement we have getting him in the program.”
For all the discussion about fit and how the pieces will all fit together, there’s also a basketball truism that’s relevant here: talent finds a way. And to hear Butler and Simmons tell it, they just sensed an opening on the Butler inbounds layup that effectively iced the game. “His IQ is very high,” Simmons said after the game. “He’s the kind of guy where, the inbounds play where I threw it to him, that was going to happen before I even threw it, just because I looked at him. Some guys you can just look at and you already know what’s going to happen before it happens.”
While some coaches and execs told ESPN over the summer that Rondo could be a pain for the Lakers, the point guard has been a coach on the floor and mentor to the young core for Walton. Given the freedom to be himself, Rajon Rondo has been … Rajon Rondo. The Lakers have seen the acclaimed basketball IQ. They’ve also seen his unpredictability, his fire manifesting in a flurry of punches in his first game in Staples, resulting in a three-game suspension after the NBA ruled he had spit at Chris Paul.
1 hour ago via ESPN
The young Lakers have noticed Rondo’s attention to detail. Hart says the Lakers sometimes walk out of a huddle and Rondo identifies the opposing play just by the positioning of the players on the court. Ball said Rondo once pointed out that a player had his shoes untied during a film session in the midst of all the other things he saw on tape. Kuzma says he’s seen how Rondo constantly looks at his Apple watch during practice. “I don’t know what he does with that watch but seems like he is pretty calculated with everything,” Kuzma said.
1 hour ago via ESPN
The Knicks led by 19 points in the first half, by 11 inside the seven-minute mark and were still ahead by four with just four minutes left before they got smacked in the face by Davis and company. The Pelicans ran off a late 8-1 run and handed the Knicks their fourth straight loss in a 129-124 Friday shootout at Smoothie King Center. After the defeat, Trey Burke lit a fire in the locker room by saying his club seems content to be in close games instead of trying to win them and the players hang their heads when things go south.