In a surprise turn of events, the Houston Rockets have upgraded Russell Westbrook to questionable before Game 5 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rockets guard Russell Westbrook will be upgraded to questionable to play in Game 5 vs. OKC tonight. He had been out with a strained quadriceps muscle.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) August 26, 2020
Russ hasn’t played since Aug. 12 due to a strained quadriceps muscle.
If Russ is set to play tonight, he’d be making his playoff debut for the Rockets.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Houston will test Westbrook before the game.
Houston’s Russell Westbrook is expected to test his strained quadriceps on the court prior to Game 5 vs. Oklahoma City today and make a gametime decision on returning, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 26, 2020
In Game 4, Houston scored seven fast-break points and attempted only 10 free-throws, CBS Sports reported. It seems Russell is being missed on those two fronts.
Before Westbrook went down, he was averaging 23.2 points, and was shooting 79.9% at the foul line.
The Rockets will want to be careful with Russ. He sat out games back on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9. He then played on Aug. 11. He hasn’t played since after waking up on Aug. 12, feeling “kind of sore.”
On Tuesday, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni told reporters that the team would decide more on Russell’s status he worked out and got back on the court some.
“As soon as they tell me he can go and he feels like he can then he’ll go,” D’Antoni said. “He’ll work out today, he’ll get on the court and see how he feels and they’ll make a determination. It’s close. We want to be a little careful.”
It seems some sense of urgency is setting in since they’ve blown a 2-0 series lead.