Head coach Billy Donovan announced today that Russell Westbrook, Patrick Patterson and Alex Abrines will not play in tomorrow’s initial preseason game against the Houston Rockets in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Raymond Felton will get the nod as the starting point guard tomorrow night.
Westbrook has been limited in preseason training camp in the wake of his platelet rich plasma injection procedure he had prior to camp. Patterson and Abrines are still recovering from minor injuries that don’t seem to concern the team for their status going forward.
“Today was the first day he (Westbrook) did contact which was good,” Donovan said. “There were no ill effects from anything.”
Patterson’s injury stems from arthroscopic knee surgery he had in August while Abrines’ left knee strain from international play continues to keep him from full practice.
“It difficult to put a time frame on anyone,” Donovan said on Patterson and Abrines’ status. “But it’s not something we think is long term.”
Felton, a 14-year NBA veteran, started 11 games in the 2016-17 season for the LA Clippers. He has been running with the first unit in Westbrook’s absence.
“Just because we got three All-Stars on this team, we still can’t back down,” Felton said when asked about how he his experience with the first unit has gone so far. “We have to continue to push them.”
Felton also has experience with teammate Carmelo Anthony, having played in New York together for two seasons.
“We got a lot of history with each other,” Felton said. “Just to get that bond back, to be on the same team and go battle together is going to be fun.”
Reserves Jerami Grant, Semaj Christon and Nick Collison will likely get more minutes for the rest of preseason.
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