Russell Westbrook luckily will not be suspended and be forced to miss playing a game for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The All-Star guard is much needed on the court if the Thunder will have any chance of getting to the playoffs, and even with him, things are not looking good at this point.
Westbrook and the Thunder are currently tied with the New Orleans Pelicans for the 8th spot in the Western Conference, although the Pelicans lead them in the tie-breaker and look to have the edge as of late.
He received a technical foul in their last game against the Pacers, and because it was his 16th of the season, he was in fear of being suspended. Perhaps there is special treatment being given to the possible MVP candidate since it was also his second technical foul that was rescinded in the past seven games.
After 15 technicals over the course of the season, a suspension is automatically given, although the league decided that the foul he gave was not in fact a technical, which will allow him to play tonight against the Portland Trailblazers.
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) April 13, 2015
According to the league’s rules, players receive a one-game suspension starting with their 16th technical foul of the season and every other tech thereafter, with the slate wiped clean when the playoffs begin.
However, it may be too late for the Thunder anyway, as they need either 2 wins and a loss from the Pelicans or 1 win and 2 losses from the Pelicans in order to earn the 8th spot in the playoffs. The Thunder and Pelicans both have a record of 43-37 and whichever team makes the playoffs will face the Warriors in the first round.
Russell Westbrook scored a career-high 54 points in the game last night, although it was not enough to overcome the Pacers in the 116-104 loss, and the Pacers are ferociously fighting for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, also tied for 8th place. He is the one who can get them to the playoffs as the season’s end approaches, but can he do it?