Oklahoma Experiencing Thunder

Published on 23-Mar-2015 by Towner Park

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Review

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Oklahoma Experiencing Thunder

The injury bug is buying property in Oklahoma.

Russell Westbrook battled a hand injury that sidelined him for 14 games at the beginning of the season, and Kevin Durant is in the market for a new pair of functional feet.

In fact, last year's MVP has only played 27 games so far this year and continues to experience pain with his ongoing foot issues to the point that it appears his season is done like dinner:

Even with those two mega-stars unavailable at different times throughout the season, Oklahoma City has managed to climb the ladder but barely cling to that all-important -- albeit last -- playoff spot in the Western Conference. With the pesky Pelicans nipping at their feet, the Thunder have a slim margin for error.

And Slim might be leaving town.

The Thunder's defensive catalyst -- and Hakeem Olajuwon's mini-me -- Serge Ibaka recently announced he's having surgery on his knee to combat swelling as well as soreness. The Thunder will be without Ibaka's services for 4 to 6 weeks.

Yo, dude, fans in Seattle call this karma.

In order to be successful, the Thunder required Ibaka's defensive instincts and stability. In fact, some may argue that the Thunder needed his defense more than Durant's offense. Without Ibaka, their rim-D just became that much more permeable.

After Durant was sidelined, Ibaka raised his game by averaging 14.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks.

However, the aggro in his knees was too much too bear, and after three games of hoping the pain and swelling would subside, Ibaka decided to get the arthoscopic surgery done.

Now, Westbrook -- who has done the work of two men since Durant went down -- must carry a heavier load until Durant returns.

He's good, but he's also mortal. Take that as you will.

And as to bad things happening to bad people, it seems the hoops gods are taking care of that.