The last time any of us saw Russell Westbrook doing anything other than jumping off the bench in a suit was Oklahoma City’s Christmas Day massacre versus the Knicks.
The next time? Forty-eight hours from now when the Heat come a knockin’.
Russy’s partner-in-crime Kevin Durant confirmed the good news over All-Star Weekend to Bill Simmons. What Durant has produced since Westbrook’s latest stint on the sideline needs not to be repeated, but more importantly, the valuable playing time (and confidence in a 22-8 stretch) given to names like Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb could pay dividends moving forward.
Russell’s return comes at a well-needed time. For as great as Durant has been as the leading MVP candidate, placing that much pressure on a guy to produce 32-6-7 a night and keep the same productivity moving into the playoffs is too much to expect from any one person. Plus, the next two games come against the defending champions and a Clippers squad led by Blake Griffin (who has played like the third best player in the world since New Year’s Day) and Chris Paul.
Also, mark those calendars for March 11. That’s when – barring any further setbacks – we’ll finally get to see the long-awaited Westbrook vs. Pat Beverly matchup.