Russell Westbrook has played with an increased chip on his shoulder since returning from his latest knee injury.

"For anybody who gets hurt, you come back with a bigger shovel," Westbrook said. "You want to compete, come back better and compete at the level before you got hurt.

"It's made me even more meaner. But that's normal for me."

Westbrook and his teammates believe the point guard was able to learn from sitting and watching the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"He looks like he is more explosive and he's making good decisions," Kevin Durant said. "It looks like he learned a lot just sitting there watching. You think the game more just sitting and watching.

"He always plays with a chip on his shoulder," Durant said. "Angry could be good and bad. But it's on the good side for Russ. He doesn't like anybody he is playing against. He plays with that edge and he plays at a high level."

"Just watch his court awareness. He's very selective about his shot selection now," Kendrick Perkins added. "He is still being aggressive, but he is picking and choosing when to be aggressive, which is helping us."