Russell Westbrook put the blame on COVID and his quadricep injury for poor performances in the entire series vs Lakers.
Russell Westbrook’s Houston Rockets played Game 5, while down 3-1, against the Los Angeles Lakers resulting in the Lakers blowing the Rockets out, 119-96.
Russell Westbrook had another terrible game, scoring 10 points on just 4/13 shooting from the field.
Terrible field goal percentages have become the norm for Russell Westbrook in the Bubble. When asked about his below average performances, Westbrook was quick to divert the blame onto his quad injury and the fact that he had caught COVID.
Russell Westbrook blames COVID-19 and his quad injury
In mid-July, the 2017 MVP released a statement saying that he had been diagnosed with having caught the COVID -19 virus. He was asymptomatic but could not do any physical activity for 3 straight weeks.
A week before the Playoffs commenced, Russell Westbrook suffered a strained right quadriceps. This effectively ruled him out for the remainder of the seeding games and the first 4 games of the Playoffs. Russ returned to the Rockets rotation in Game 5, on a minutes restriction.
When questioned on whether or not he was healthy, the 2x All-Star Game MVP responded saying, “I was just trying to catch a rhythm but couldn’t.”
Rockets’ Russell Westbrook on his quad: “It wasn’t 100%. I’m not the guy to make excuses. 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.” pic.twitter.com/FkGcoICWTe
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 13, 2020
Should Westbrook have played in these Playoffs?
A strained quadriceps is by no means a season ending injury. It just needs time to heal and relax, just as any other muscle group. Perhaps he rushed into the Playoffs a tad bit too early.
If he hadn’t showed up in Game 5 of the first round series however, the Rockets might’ve lost in the first round.
Russell Westbrook is 31 years old and past his athletic prime. More care needs to be taken of his body if he still wants to be effective on the basketball court.