SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Russell Westbrook

Kevin DurantLayne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty Images

Who is the hardest player to defend in the NBA? Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers says -- surprise, surprise -- it's Kevin Durant, calling the Oklahoma City Thunder star a taller, better version of George Gervin. Do you agree with Rivers? Where does LeBron James fall on the list? Click on the images below to set your rankings!

Hardest to Defend in NBA

LaMarcus Aldridge

Carmelo Anthony

Kobe Bryant

DeMarcus Cousins

Stephen Curry

Anthony Davis

Goran Dragic

Kevin Durant

Paul George

Blake Griffin

James Harden

Dwight Howard

Kyrie Irving

LeBron James

Al Jefferson

Damian Lillard

Kevin Love

Dirk Nowitzki

Chris Paul

John Wall

Russell Westbrook

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Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports

Struggles for Russell Westbrook?

It's just two games, but they haven't been pretty. Since Russell Westbrook returned to the Oklahoma City Thunder's lineup, the West's No. 1 team has lost twice at home -- Thursday in blowout fashion to the Miami Heat, and Sunday in a closer game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Further highlighting the correlation has been Westbrook's play; he's scored just 29 points on 7-of-25 shooting, with eight assists and seven turnovers. Again, it's a very, very small sample. But OKC was rolling before it welcomed back this All-Star ...

  • What do you make of the Thunder losing twice at home since Russell Westbrook's return?

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      72%
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      28%

    Discuss (Total votes: 45,154)

  • When will Russell Westbrook return to form for the Thunder?

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      51%
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      40%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 34,911)

  • Can the Thunder win an NBA title without an in-form Russell Westbrook?

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      43%
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      57%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,478)

  • Which team will win the NBA championship?

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      36%
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      31%
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      24%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,461)

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Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports

Heat hammer Thunder in OKC

It's one game, it's one game, it's one game. But when opposite-conference teams play just twice during a long NBA season, it's hard not to read at least a little something into major matchups. Which brings us to Thursday, when the Miami Heat traveled to Oklahoma City, and slammed the Thunder 103-81.

The top individual battle, too, was intriguing, with LeBron James (33 points on 22 shots) getting the better of sudden MVP favorite Kevin Durant (28 points on 22 shots) -- all despite leaving with 5:50 left after getting smacked in the face while dunking on Serge Ibaka. The Heat's performance was so overwhelming, it overshadowed the return of Russell Westbrook, out since Christmas with a knee injury (Westbrook scored 16 points in 24 minutes, but had four turnovers to just two assists). Let's not forget, though, that a Westbrook-less Thunder smashed Miami 112-95 in South Florida less than a month ago.

  • What do you make of the Heat's 103-81 win at OKC in Russell Westbrook's return?

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      23%
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      37%
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      40%

    Discuss (Total votes: 209,027)

  • Which team would win a seven-game series on a neutral court?

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      48%
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      52%

    Discuss (Total votes: 59,402)

  • What do you make of the NBA MVP race?

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      19%
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      71%
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      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 12,268)

  • When will Russell Westbrook return to form for the Thunder?

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      52%
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      39%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,363)

  • Which is your NBA Finals matchup?

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      30%
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      53%
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      17%

    Discuss (Total votes: 11,457)

  • Which team will win the NBA championship?

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      38%
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      30%
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      19%
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      13%

    Discuss (Total votes: 162,161)

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Durant, Thunder make statement

We knew the Oklahoma City Thunder were good. We knew Kevin Durant was the clear MVP favorite. But what happened on Wednesday night still raised eyebrows. After falling behind 22-4, KD & Co. quickly turned the game around, leading by five at halftime and proceeding to blow out the two-time defending-champion Miami Heat 112-95 -- on the road. Is there any chance Durant -- who extended his 30-point streak to 12 games Wednesday -- doesn't take home the top award? Can OKC win it all even without a healthy Russell Westbrook (they're now 15-6)? And what to make of the beleaguered Heat?

  • What are the chances Kevin Durant doesn't win NBA MVP this season?

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      54%
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      46%

    Discuss (Total votes: 51,316)

  • How much does Wednesday night's 112-95 win for the Thunder over the Heat change your opinion about the teams?

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      29%
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      44%
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      27%

    Discuss (Total votes: 21,656)

  • Could the Thunder contend for an NBA title without a healthy Russell Westbrook?

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      57%
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      43%

    Discuss (Total votes: 163,237)

  • Are the Heat legitimate NBA championship contenders?

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      74%
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      26%

    Discuss (Total votes: 20,996)

  • Which is the best team in the NBA?

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      40%
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      37%
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      23%

    Discuss (Total votes: 136,837)

  • What is your pick for the NBA Finals matchup?

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      57%
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      43%

    Discuss (Total votes: 20,103)

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Westbrook out after knee surgery

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is expected to be out until after the All-Star break after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday. Westbrook helped lead the Thunder to a 23-5 record before undergoing the procedure. Is Oklahoma City an elite team without Westbrook? How will the team fare without him?

Are the Thunder an elite team without Russell Westbrook?

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    37%
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    63%

Discuss (Total votes: 14,432)

  • By the time Russell Westbrook returns (not expected until after All-Star break), which seed will the Thunder possess in the Western Conference?

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      24%
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      64%
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      10%
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      2%

    Discuss (Total votes: 18,513)

  • Which team will win the Western Conference?

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      9%
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      24%
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      21%
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      36%
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      10%

    Discuss (Total votes: 88,890)

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