NBA observers have had plenty of time to watch Kevin Durant lead the Oklahoma City Thunder while Russell Westbrook was out healing. But now the situation has reversed, and although it’s still just NBA preseason all eyed in OKC and beyond are glued on Westbrook as he deals with even more responsibility than ever. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting:
In the Thunder’s 117-107 preseason victory over the Grizzlies on Tuesday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena, that connection offered a peek into the burgeoning chemistry between Westbrook and Adams. But more importantly, it was a much-anticipated glimpse of how exactly Westbrook might captain this short-handed squad as it awaits the return of scoring phenom Kevin Durant.
Westbrook scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting and dished a game-high 12 assists in 26 minutes. Six of those assists went to Adams, who again strengthened his case for the starting center position after assembling his third straight stellar performance, this time a 22-point, six-rebound, one-block effort.
When the Grizzlies began taking control, building a double-digit lead in the second quarter, it was Westbrook who took over and put a stop to it, not by hoisting shots but with pinpoint passes.