The Oklahoma City Thunder have gotten off to an 0-2 start to the season after dropping games on the road to the Warriors and Clippers to open the season. On Sunday, they will return home for their first game in Oklahoma City this season against the Kings, which would already have given them a great chance to get into the win column, but they’ll get some extra help in the form of their top star returning to the lineup.
Russell Westbrook has been reportedly close to playing all season, but sat out both games in Oakland and L.A. as he works his way back from offseason knee surgery. On Sunday, he was given the green light to make his season debut against the Kings, where he will not have a minutes restriction.
It’s great news for the Thunder, who have, unsurprisingly, not looked like their usual selves without the superstar point guard at the helm. The team did add to its point guard depth this offseason by bringing in Dennis Schröder in the Carmelo Anthony trade, but the idea was to have him as a high level backup, not in a starting capacity.
Now, Oklahoma City is nearing having its full personnel on the court, as the last piece missing is Andre Roberson after a setback from his own knee injury. In the West, the Thunder couldn’t afford a long absence from Westbrook causing them to fall behind in the standings, and his return for Game 3 of the season will be a welcome sight.