Although many experts and pundits would like you to believe otherwise, the Oklahoma City Thunder are clearly a better team with point guard Russell Westbrook in the lineup.

That was clear last season when the Memphis Grizzlies dispatched of the Thunder during the second round of the playoffs with Westbrook out of the lineup.

Just a year earlier, the Thunder were in the Finals.

The Thunder have tried to limit Westbrook’s minutes, playing him 31.1 minutes per game as opposed to his career averaged of 34.1.

They’d also like to give him some extra rest before the postseason, so he will skip some back to backs, according to Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.

“There’s going to be some back-to-backs he’s not going to play,” Brooks told Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. “We definitely have a plan in place.”

“His conditioning is great. We just want to get some time, while we still can, where he can rest in between games,” Brooks added.

Westbrook is averaging 21.5 points, 7.1 assists, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game.