Russell Westbrook has yet to make his Wizards debut, and it won’t happen on Thursday night vs. Detroit. The team announced today (Twitter link) that Westbrook has been ruled out of tonight’s exhibition game for rest purposes.
As Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes, it’s somewhat surprising that the Wizards wouldn’t be more motivated to get Westbrook into an actual game to allow him to establish some chemistry with his new teammates. However, Scott Brooks suggested on Wednesday that the team doesn’t think preseason action is all that necessary for the veteran guard.
“With him being whatever it is, 13 years (in the NBA), an exhibition is not gonna make much a difference for him,” the Wizards head coach said. “… Normally, sometimes you say that you need a couple of games under your belt before you start the season, but with him, he’s probably the exception to that rule. He’s been in the league long enough. He knows what he needs to do to get his rhythm back.”
Here’s more from around the Southeast:
- Terrence Ross has missed the Magic‘s first two preseason games due to a hairline fracture in his left big toe, but he sounds just about ready to return. Ross participated in all the contact drills during Wednesday’s practices and head coach Steve Clifford thinks there’s a good chance he’ll play on Thursday, per Roy Parry of The Orlando Sentinel (Twitter links).
- Evaluating the Magic‘s November roster changes, John Hollinger of The Athletic writes that the club’s “defining move this offseason was its lack of moves.” With Jonathan Isaac out for the season, Hollinger wonders if the time is right for Orlando to “soft tank” rather than vying for a back-end playoff berth that would lead to another quick postseason exit.
- The Hornets have lacked depth in recent years, but when the team is fully healthy this season, the likes of LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Cody Martin, Caleb Martin, and Jalen McDaniels should all be coming off the bench, giving head coach James Borrego some intriguing lineup options, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.