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Russell Westbrook ruled out Thursday vs. Lakers [UPDATE]

Rockets PG was underwhelming against the Blazers on Tuesday night. Apparently, Russ is dealing with a quad injury.

Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets dunks the ball during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers at The Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 04, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

UPDATE: Westbrook has officially been ruled out. Fire up James Harden.

UPDATE: Aug. 6, 1:02 p.m. — So Westbrook is still listed as questionable on the injury report this morning with a quad issue. Though, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon is reporting that Westbrook is unlikely to play and will probably rest vs. the Lakers.

This isn’t surprising news, Westbrook regularly rested during the regular season on back-to-backs. So with no Russ, we can fire up James Harden ($10,700) as a top GPP and cash-game option. Harden is way too cheap and now we’re going to get him against a rival, underpriced and over-used — in that his usage will probably be 40% tonight.

The Rockets have pretty much no depth, so Robert Covington ($6,500) and PJ Tucker ($4,200) are decent GPP plays as well. Ben McLemore ($3,100) and Jeff Green ($3,900) are also viable in tournaments as values.

Houston Rockets PG Russell Westbrook is dealing with a quad injury and is listed as questionable to play in Thursday’s game vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. Russ usually rested during back-to-back sets during the regular season. Though this isn’t one of those cases, he hasn’t had a game off inside the bubble. This could be that scheduled rest day in which the Rockets just list Westbrook with some BS injury.

Westbrook finished with 15 points and 9 assists in 35 minutes in Tuesday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Russ was off pretty much all night and actually shot 5-of-12 from the charity stripe, which is awful. So we could see Westbrook get the night off on Thursday, Let’s take a look at the impact.

Fantasy basketball and betting analysis

There’s going to be some value in the opening line for this game. With the Lakers on the second of a back-to-back and already clinching the 1-seed in the West, we could see a bunch of superstars rest. If we get in on either side early, we could get some nice value.

It doesn’t look like Harden will sit, so he’s going to be chalk city if Russ is ruled out. Harden’s usage skyrockets with Westbrook off the court. We’ve seen the type of ceiling games from Harden and this is a game the Rockets need to get back into the top 4 in the conference. We could also see more shots for Robert Covington and some more usage for Danuel House Jr., but it should just be the James Harden Show.

If anyone is going to get a bump, it’s probably Ben McLemore, who has played big minutes off the bench for Houston. Jeff Green and Austin Rivers are the only other rotation players for Houston, so again, we may see someone who hasn’t played get in there. That could be in the form of Luc Mbah a Moute or DeMarre Carroll.

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