Thunder could suffer from Westbrook injury
October, 1, 2013
By Jose De Leon, ESPN Stats & Info | ESPN.com
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesKnee surgery will cause Russell Westbrook to miss the first 4-6 weeks of this season.
Westbrook had surgery in May to repair cartilage in the same knee after he was hurt in Game 2 of the Thunder’s first round playoff series with the Houston Rockets. Prior to this, Westbrook had never missed a game in his five NBA seasons.
Westbrook's durability allowed him to put up some very impressive statistics in his first five NBA seasons.
He's one of just six players to put up at least 7,500 points and 2,500 assists in his first five seasons.
His injury could also have a negative effect on the Thunder early in the season. Only four players had more Win Shares than Westbrook’s 11.6 last season – LeBron James (19.3), Kevin Durant (18.9), Chris Paul (13.9) and James Harden (12.8).
Using advanced offensive and defensive stats, Win Shares estimates the number of wins a player had for his team.
When Westbrook went down in the playoffs, both sides of the ball took a hit. The Thunder averaged 18 fewer points per game largely in part to a much slower pace (they averaged eight more possessions per game with him in the lineup).
With Westbrook out, Durant was featured much more in the nine postseason games, particularly in the second half.
Durant’s usage percentage after halftime in the first two games against Houston was 27 percent (Westbrook was at 37 percent). Usage percentage is the percentage of team plays used by a player when he is on the floor.
In the Thunder’s nine postseason games without Westbrook (beginning on April 27), Durant’s usage percentage jumped to 34 percent, second highest among all players who played at least five games in the postseason (Carmelo Anthony was first at 37 percent).