Russell Westbrook isn’t the type of player to make excuses. However, after the Houston Rockets’ season came to a halt in the Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers, he offered some context about what he’s had to go through before he could even play for the Rockets in the NBA bubble. That includes testing positive for COVID-19 and suffering a quad injury three games into the restart of the season. 

According to Ben Golliver of The Washington Post, Westbrook admitted that his quad was less than 100% during the playoffs for the Rockets. 

“It’s very frustrating. Catching COVID, I had to sit back 21 days without working out… The postseason is when you elevate your game. I was just trying to catch a rhythm at the time. But I just got to get back to the drawing board, make sure that I get healthy. That’s most important.”

– Russell Westbrook on his injuries during the NBA playoffs

Westbrook was unable to immediately join his teammates after testing positive for the coronavirus back in July, just before the Rockets’ departure to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando for the start of the NBA Bubble.

But shortly after rejoining the team, the league’s 2017 MVP strained his right quad during their third seeding game, causing him to miss the rest of the seeding games and part of the playoffs. He only played his first game of the postseason for the Rockets in Game 5 of their first round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But his struggles were still evident even after the Rockets took a 1-0 lead against the Lakers in the conference semifinals. In Game 5, with the season on the line, Westbrook finished with  just 10 points, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals, making just four of 13 shots and having three turnovers. 

In five games against the Lakers, the nine-time All Star averaged 19.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, and five assists, while shooting 42.4% from the field for the Rockets.