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Young Men and Fire

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All it takes is an instant to completely change the landscape of a season. A wrong step. An injured knee. A broken bone or torn connective tissue. These injuries can have drastic consequences for a team -- consuming championship aspirations, snuffing out legacies and resetting the process of rebuilding.

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Double Or Nothing: How The Clippers Contained Damian Lillard

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On Thursday night, we were treated to another thriller: an overtime game between a pair of elite teams in the West. On one side, there were the Clippers - a team lead by the league's best point guard in Chris Paul, as well as one of the best power forwards in Blake Griffin. On the other side, there were the Blazers - the most surprising team thus far in the NBA season, lead by someone who many believe has been better than Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, as well as Damian Lillard, a potential all-star in just his second year in the league.

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Russell Westbrook Has Surgery

Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook will be sidelined again after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on his right knee Friday. He is expected to be out until after the All-Star break.

Westbrook tore his right meniscus in the first round of last season’s playoffs against the Rockets and this was the third procedure he has had on the same knee since the injury occurred in April. Thunder president Sam Presti released a statement today saying that Westbrook had not been experiencing any pain while playing, but there had been some recent swelling. Westbrook received an MRI and it was looked at by his surgeon in Los Angeles, who noticed a new area of concern, and decided that surgery would be required.

“The consulting physician determined that arthroscopic surgery was necessary to address the swelling that was taking place. We know that Russell’s work ethic and commitment will help him return to the level of play that we have all come to appreciate.”  Excerpt from Thunder president Sam Presti.

The three-time All-Star has played in 25 of the Thunder’s 28 games this season, averaging 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and a career-high 6.0 rebounds per game. He also posted a triple-double in his last game on Christmas Day against the New York Knicks, so this comes as a surprise to many. The Thunder have 27 games until the All-Star break, so his absence may have a huge influence on Western Conference playoff seeding.