If the issue plagues Westbrook long-term, it would essentially end Oklahoma City's championship hopes after he dominated the league in 2016-17, averaging a triple-double with 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game. He won the MVP, broke Oscar Robertson's record of 41 triple-doubles in a season and can single-handedly carry the team for extended stretches.
The point guard is a six-time All-Star and one of the best players in the entire NBA. With an improved supporting cast around him, the Thunder have higher hopes for the season.
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Oklahoma City will likely turn to Semaj Christon and Raymond Felton at point guard during Westbrook's absence. It also has Paul George as another star to carry the offense when Westbrook is not on the floor.
Still, the Thunder are on the short list of Western Conference contenders largely because of Westbrook's presence and playmaking abilities. They need their superstar point guard to be healthy if they hope to challenge the best teams in the West.