Russell Westbrook will play in Game 5 on Saturday, according to multiple sources. Westbrook was ready and would have played in the originally scheduled game on Wednesday, prior to the walkout.— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) August 28, 2020
Westbrook has missed the entire postseason so far with a strained quad, but from the sounds of it, he’ll be full speed when the Rockets return to the court this weekend. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Westbrook looked, “as explosive as ever,” during an intrasquad scrimmage the Rockets held at Thursday’s practice.
Westbrook’s imminent return comes after the Rockets have lost two consecutive games to the Thunder, both of which they were in position to win. Having someone to get inside regularly when the outside shots aren’t falling should pay dividends in helping the Rockets close out down the stretch. They also really needs Russ’s playmaking abilities to take advantage of Oklahoma City when James Harden sits.
It remains to be seen whether Eric Gordon or Danuel House heads to the bench, but let’s hope it’s EG. House is having a fantastic postseason so far. Either way, it should also strengthen a bench unit that’s struggled beyond Jeff Green.
The start time of Saturday’s game is still TBD.
Welcome back, Russ!