OKLAHOMA CITY -- An hour before tipoff at Chesapeake Energy Arena, the blond wood-paneled doors to Russell Westbrook's locker were shut tight. The black Aeron chair where Westbrook usually sits pregame -- headphones on, futzing with his smartphone -- was empty.
Many of us have been there at some point: A workhorse is ill and out of the office indefinitely. Who covers? Do we split up the responsibilities? Wait for someone specific to take charge? Tread water until the person gets back, or just let the stuff pile up on his desk, to be dealt with at a later date?
That's the predicament the Oklahoma City Thunder now find themselves in without one of their two indispensable employees. But on Sunday afternoon, those duties left vacant by Westbrook's absence were divvied up and fulfilled, as the Thunder roared back from a double-digit second-half deficit and stole Game 1 of their conference semifinals series with the Memphis Grizzlies, 93-91.