Rockets star Russell Westbrook to sit vs. Grizzlies after blowout loss to Heat
Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook will sit out of Monday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, following a 29-point loss at the hands of the Miami Heat, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. Head coach Mike D’Antoni had already hinted at a potential stint out of the lineup, but almost reconsidered given that Westbrook only played 26 minutes in the loss.
Monday’s game will give the Rockets a chance to bounce back, following a pair of losses against the Brooklyn Nets and most recently the Heat, who blew them out of contention for most of the fourth quarter.
D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey hinted before the season that they planned to give Westbrook and backcourt partner James Harden their share of load management, as both players are now entering their 30’s after many seasons in which they’ve logged heavy minutes.
The Rockets will likely have Harden run the show in this back-to-back and alternate for the next, giving Westbrook the chance to take over and giving Harden some rest.
Westbrook underwent knee surgery and wasn’t cleared for live five-on-five work until just before training camp began.
Houston should have no issues getting over the .500 mark against a young Grizzlies team, but the doubts about their potential still remain, as the Westbrook-Harden partnership has yet to successfully flesh out and the Rockets have yet to win by more than four points this season.