Rockets' Jeff Green Jokes Russell Westbrook Has Been 'Annoying' Since Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2020

Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook stands on the sideline during the second quarter of Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Houston Rockets forward Jeff Green joked that guard Russell Westbrook has been a bit of a pest while on the shelf with a right quad injury.

When asked about Westbrook, Green said this, per Mark Medina of USA Today: "What has Russ been like? You want an honest answer? Annoying; really annoying."

Westbrook has been out for the first two games of the Rockets' first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said Westbrook will "probably" miss Saturday's Game 3 as well.

The Rockets have thrived in taking a 2-0 lead, and Westbrook has still made his presence felt by talking to teammates and coaches and yelling at officials from the sideline.

Green added that he loves the fact Westbrook is so involved even when he's out: "What you see is what you get with Russ. Even though he's not playing, it feels like he is because his attention to detail and his focus and his demeanor is like he is playing. That's Russ 24/7. I love it."

D'Antoni also talked about the way Westbrook carries himself: "Russell's personality is a big part of the team, even when he's hurt. He does what he has to do to talk to players and get him going and give us support."

This is Westbrook's first season in Houston after he spent the first 11 years of his career in OKC. He was a big part of the Rockets' success during the regular season, as he averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game.

With the 2016-17 NBA MVP on the shelf, James Harden has unsurprisingly risen to the occasion in the first two games of the playoffs with averages of 29.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists.

Behind Harden, it has been a by-committee approach with Green, Eric Gordon, Danuel House Jr., P.J. Tucker and Ben McLemore averaging double figures in scoring.

Even though Houston has been without one of the best all-around players in the league, the first two games of the series weren't close with final scores of 123-108 and 111-98.

If the Rockets are this good without Westbrook, they could be a threat when he returns to go all the way and win their first championship since 1994-95.