The wait is over

All systems go for Russell Westbrook and the Rockets

Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images.

It was reported that Russell Westbrook had landed in Orlando on Tuesday. Wednesday, Westbrook was cleared to play after being tested for COVID-19. Westbrook informed everybody on Instagram because it was still unknown when he would show up in Orlando. He spoke to the media on Wednesday about his symptoms and said that he is feeling fine now.

"First off, thankful and blessed to be healthy and able to go out and compete. Just quarantining, been at home trying to be productive. Finding ways to stay active...," as Westbrook told the media. "I do know that it's definitely something to take very seriously and understand wearing a mask can be between life or death, honestly."

Even though the NBA was shut down for four months, Westbrook kept his self in excellent condition. Westbrook was seen on Instagram working out with Kevin Hart in Los Angeles. Staying in shape is the most important thing for Westbrook. The Rockets feed off Westbrook's drive and intensity. Coach Mike D'Antoni raved all last week about Westbrook's conditions and health.

"Our medical staff, they'll determine when Russell is ready to go and when he's ready to play 20 mins, 30 mins," D'Antoni said on Sunday. "I do hear he's in pretty good shape and has been ramping up. Hopefully its fairly seamless with some precaution."

Since Westbrook is back at practice, the intensity will pick up. Everybody knows Westbrook's motor could run forever. Westbrook is noticeably big on making sure that his teammates keep the same momentum. The Rockets are getting back their best vocal leader on the court. PJ Tucker was able to describe today's practice as very intense because of Westbrook.

"Practice has been at a pretty high level, but I know today it's about to be through the roof," Tucker said.

Westbrook was highly active during the break, after the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. He even wore the shirt that he wants to promote around the NBA to the Zoom press conference. Westbrook wanted to show respect to the families of the victims who died because of police brutality.

"I wanted to be able to, number one show my respects to the families," Westbrook said. He even made the shirts for the players, so they were able to use words without talking. "Another way to use their voice without talking."

He was seen in Compton hosting protests with YG, the rapper. Westbrook is working on a documentary about the ''Tulsa Race Massacre.'' He is getting the opportunity to work with Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson. In 1921, white mobs in the Greenwood district of Tulsa, destroyed black residents and businesses.

Westbrook is glad that NBA owners are starting to recognize the importance of "Black Lives Matter."

"It's important that our owners, number one, understand all the social injustice that goes on in today's society," Westbrook said. "Understand how meaningful it is for them to show their support."

There is still no timetable of Westbrook playing on Friday against Toronto Raptors in the Rockets first scrimmage. Even though Westbrook is in good physical shape, he wants to be in basketball shape. Westbrook does not want to be on the court too fast, he wants the timing to be perfect.

"I'll take one day at a time. Just be thankful and blessed to be able to go back on the floor and compete," Westbrook said. "When I'm back 100% you will know."

Now the Rocket are just waiting on Luc Mbah a Moute so their whole team can be in sync.

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Another tough loss for Houston. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans lost again as their road game ineptitude continues. Former Texans stars DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt helped the Cardinals to the 31-5 victory.

1. The lack of talent is getting exposed earlier and earlier each week. The Texans have seen games slip away faster and faster from them each week. The team is overmatched almost everywhere.

2. Penalties remain a problem for the Texans. It seems like clockwork the team gets an illegal motion or illegal formation each week. Jordan Akins torpedoed a drive with a chop block. Max Scharping erased a positive play with a hold.

3. Davis Mills had some solid moments, but again, this team isn't good. It is hard to assess Mills with this team. He's making quicker decisions but he doesn't have the time or the players to make big plays.

4. The offensive line stinks. The interior of the line is still a mess and with Laremy Tunsil down the edges find themselves shaky as well. The running backs don't block well. The blocking tight ends don't block well. It is bad football in what was supposed to be a much-improved unit.

5. Desmond King was the best returner in the preseason. The team elected to give Andre Roberts an opportunity for a few games, but with his departure, the duties went to King. King is the most successful returner the Texans have had in a long while. Yes, it is that clear after just one game.

6. Max Scharping was benched in favor of Justin McCray. McCray produced similar levels of success. Scharping was benched last year for a journey-man veteran as well. The former second-round pick isn't getting it done.

7. Speaking of former second-round picks, Lonnie Johnson had an interception. That was the highlight of his day. Otherwise, Johnson frequently has me asking "what is Lonnie Johnson doing?" The former second-round pick at cornerback has been less than impressive at safety. Johnson seems to frequently be out of position or making the wrong choice in coverage.

8. DeAndre Hopkins had a solid day against the team that traded him away. Hopkins hauled in seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. After he scored, Hopkins looked to bring his hands together and mimic a prayer motion. I don't anticipate this was a nod to Arian Foster but perhaps could this have been about Jack Easterby?

9. The Texans had some sacks, but little of that action came when the game was close. Jonathan Greenard added two sacks to his total. The success Greenard is having is frustrating when you consider he couldn't get on the field last season. Charles Omenihu returned to action and had some pressures for the defense.

10. During the game reports surfaced that the Panthers might be interested in trading for Deshaun Watson. It was also reported by the Houston Chronicle Watson had vetoed a trade to Philadelphia, so the Eagles will not be involved in the Watson sweepstakes. The Panthers can only trade two first-round picks. The Miami Dolphins have three first-round picks they can trade for Deshaun Watson.

11. The Texans decided on a "culture" head coach in David Culley. His team has looked lifeless on the road. While the Texans took their beating, the Lions gave it their all against a good Rams team. Detroit is winless, but they play harder and better than the Texans. It grows clearer each week "culture" is meaningless if the team can't win.

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