It’s always very interesting how players come back from season-ending injuries. There are usually a lot of unknowns with it, making it hard to predict how a team will do.
Writers from NBA.com were recently asked which player among Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Russell Westbrook will have the best comeback season in 2013-14.
Steve Aschburner said it will be Westbrook.
First, his injury (meniscus tear) was the least serious of the three. And I think his motivation will be the simplest and most focused, because his absence scuttled the Thunder’s goal of reaching their second straight Finals. The seasons and ambitions in L.A. and Chicago were fuzzier in terms of goals and possibilities, and frankly they remain so. Bryant physically won’t be as advanced as the other two and Rose, if he flakes off the rust swiftly, will feel the full burden of the Bulls’ expectations (and shortcomings). Westbrook can just play.
I have to agree here and mostly because Westbrook’s injury was the least severe of the three.
Kobe’s Achilles tear could be really bad and he is the least likely to play a full season. It’s really just hard to get a read on Derrick Rose and what he will be like coming back, especially considering how long it took him to mentally get ready to return in general.
Westbrook’s meniscus tear really wasn’t that serious and had it happened earlier in the season, he likely would have been able to return, so calling it season-ending doesn’t tell the whole story.
Westbrook is also very capable of having a better season than Kobe or Rose even if they were all healthy.
This will be year two after losing James Harden and I expect Russ and KD to understand even better how to be the dynamic duo leading this team. I think it will be reflected in a more efficient season for Westbrook as the Thunder once again are right in the mix for the best record in the league.