One day before a potentially pivotal game three, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced that point guard Russell Westbrook will undergo surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus and will be out indefinitely. This news came on the heels of a game where Westbrook appeared to be limping at times following a hit to the knee from Patrick Beverley.
The team has not confirmed that Westbrook suffered the injury on that play, but did say that the injury was sustained on a play in the second quarter, the same quarter where that altercation occurred.
The Thunder are still extremely dangerous and seem likely to carry this series behind Kevin Durant, but this injury certainly changes the dynamic of the series. The Rockets will look to capitalize with Westbrook out, but they are still facing a tall task. Kevin Durant is probably the league's best scorer, and his supporting cast of Serge Ibaka, Kevin Martin, and Thabo Sefolosha are plenty potent. If Reggie Jackson can keep playing well, the Thunder will be extremely tough to beat.
Meanwhile, assuming the series returns to Oklahoma City, Patrick Beverley is going to need a police escort to get to the arena. I don't think it's fair to blame him for a play that happens everyday in the NBA, but fans of the Thunder will certainly disagree.
We'll have more on the injury as this story develops.