Published August 10, 2012
Nobody -- least of all Oklahoma City fans -- was happy to see Russell Westbrook hobble off the court and into the locker room with the United States up more than 20 late in its semifinal win against Argentina. The good news is the injury isn't serious; the bad news is he might not be available for Sunday's gold medal matchup against Spain. Several reporters tweeted the news:
Team USA's Russell Westbrook suffered a mild ankle sprain, and his availability for the gold medal game on Sunday is uncertain.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 10, 2012
Westbrook's absence vs. Spain certainly wouldn't be optimal: His energy and on-ball pressure from the point guard spot has been awesome for the United States off the bench, not to mention his scoring -- he had seven in only nine minutes Friday against Argentina and is obviously one of the most talented young scorers in the NBA -- but the United States is not wanting for depth. The worst-case scenario is Westbrook's Thunder teammate James Harden takes a few minutes at two-guard off the bench, which if you know James Harden, is not a worst-case scenario. It's equally likely the United States just shortens its bench and uses its nine insanely talented rotation players not named Russell Westbrook more. Westbrook is great, but he's not pivotal for victory.