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OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook's availability for Rocket playoff series still unknown

Russell Westbrook's availability for the Rockets-Thunder playoff series remains unknown.

Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said Monday he didn't have an update on when Westbrook might return from his strained right quadriceps.

"I think either today or tomorrow, the end of the day," D'Antoni said of when he might know more. "Hopefully, I'll know something. Maybe not. y

"I dunno."

Without Westbrook, there will be additional pressure on Rockets sharpshooter James Harden, something the former MVP has shown he can handle. But much of Harden's experience as the lone superstar came before the Rockets went all-in on small ball. Without an true centers in the rotation, how Harden will handle the added pressure in a playoff series remains to be seen.

Additionally, the Rockets' finish to the restart seeding games leaves questions. Houston started 4-1 in the bubble but lost its last three games, including the last two with Westbrook sidelined.

The Thunder and Rockets open their best-of-seven series Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

Related Photos
Feb 29, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first half against the Boston Celtics quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 29, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first half against the Boston Celtics quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-0a41a23b3a46d57c02bd557283368e27.jpg" alt="Photo - Feb 29, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first half against the Boston Celtics quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports" title="Feb 29, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first half against the Boston Celtics quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports"><figcaption>Feb 29, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the first half against the Boston Celtics quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports</figcaption></figure>
Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›

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