With the Houston Rockets in need of offensive firepower without Russell Westbrook, will they be able to turn to Ben McLemore?
The Houston Rockets’ quest for an NBA championship will be much more difficult, as All-star point guard Russell Westbrook is expected to miss the first few games of their opening series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Many Rockets’ fans have prepared themselves for a first-round exit, due to the absence of Westbrook.
They haven’t been alone, as many analysts and experts have suddenly reversed course and selected the Thunder as their popular pick to win. The conventional logic is that the Rockets and Thunder were closely matched up against one another with Westbrook, as both teams occupy the fourth and fifth seeds in the Western Conference standings, so this automatically means the Rockets can’t win the series without him, right? Wrong.
For starters, we aren’t hearing reports of him missing the entire series, we’re only hearing that he’ll be out for a few games (as of now). So it’s a little premeditated to assume the worst, and especially since the Rockets have the best player in the series and a top-five player in the entire league in James Harden. But you’re probably worried less about Harden and more about the players surrounding him who would be filling in for Westbrook, right?
Next: D'Antoni's plan for replacing Russ