Royce Young (ESPN) on Andre Roberson’s knee procedure after suffering a setback: “After suffering a ruptured patellar tendon in January, Roberson was on track to return to the floor in November, but he needed an additional procedure because a suture was causing irritation that he couldn’t play through. He’s said to be healing properly from the initial surgery to repair his patellar tendon, but the suture needed to be removed. Roberson, 25, will be re-evaluated in two months but will likely need more time before being available to return to the floor. He also underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee over the summer to relieve inflammation that developed during his rehab.”
Brett Dawson (The Athletic) on what’s next for the Thunder in the wake of the Roberson news: “The Thunder always knew they’d need a stopgap starter while Roberson recovered. Second-year wing Terrance Ferguson filled the spot during the team’s Blue & White Scrimmage on Sunday and the preseason opener against Detroit on Wednesday. Ferguson is a capable shooter whom coach Billy Donovan has long said has a high ceiling defensively. The 20-year-old started 12 games last season when Roberson was sidelined during two stints. Donovan likes Ferguson. He talks often about how coachable he is, how quickly he picks up concepts when they’re conveyed verbally. He doesn’t need to watch film or see a play happen on the floor to understand it, and Donovan has spoken highly of that knack.”
Something to consider:
Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) previews tonight’s preseason match-up in Minnesota: “As the Thunder continues to gel, tonight’s game should be a great opportunity to shore up those areas from the Detroit game, gain valuable experience and enhance their understanding of playing with one another.As for the opponent, the Timberwolves will become highly familiar to the Thunder over the course of the season as these Northwest Division foes will clash four times. Without Jimmy Butler at the present, Minnesota still boasts a lineup chock full of lottery picks. Karl-Anthony Towns is the headliner, with Andrew Wiggins, Derrick Rose and Jeff Teague forming the perimeter. Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau is a defensive-minded coach with a roster laden with explosive offensive performers, including Towns who is quick on the glass, an area that was a concern for the Thunder coming out of the Pistons game.”
Erik Horne (The Oklahoman) on Paul George returning to action tonight against the Timberwolves: “Paul George missed the Thunder’s first preseason game Wednesday due to personal reasons, but will be available to play in Minnesota on Friday. George was back at Thunder practice Thursday following the death of his girlfriend’s father this week. George’s girlfriend, Daniela Rajic, posted an Instagram story which included childhood photos which read “RIP Daddy” and “Forever Daddy’s little girl.” Another photo showed a pair of George’s signature shoes with the message “RIP DEDI” written on the strap and multiple signatures.”
Horne on the Thunder bringing back a sunset orange alternate uniform: “The Oklahoman learned Thursday that the Thunder will have a fifth uniform combination that will restore the “sunset” color from the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons for Christmas Day on the road against the Houston Rockets. The return of the “sunset” uniforms was first reported by Casey Vitelli. There’s no indication if the uniform will be worn beyond Christmas Day, but it will not be a direct duplicate of the previous version the Thunder wore two seasons ago. The Thunder last wore the “sunset” uniforms in 2017, the final season of Adidas’ contract with the NBA.”
Clay Horning (Norman Transcript) on the Thunder needing scoring from alternative sources: “Schroder continues to be a revelation and Wednesday finished with 21 points and nine assists and if he’d made half his shots it would have been 27 points and maybe OKC would have prevailed. Two-thirds of his assists were to Adams and, after the game, he said he could see setting Adams up 10 or 15 times, “the sky’s the limit.” Yet, perhaps he could set up Patterson a little more. Patterson was 7 of 8 from the field at the Blue-White scrimmage three days earlier, but got only four shots off, making two, in 20 minutes against the Pistons. Then, the guy who came in for Patterson, Grant, who played 27 minutes, had no problem getting shots off, yet made only 1 of 9. Also, Noel put up good shots, but made just 2 of 7. Donovan concentrated on identity and the Thunder’s struggle to maintain it throughout the game.”
Around the League: Does Seattle have a chance at getting an NBA team anytime soon?…. Ranking the 8 best cities for NBA relocation…. Kyrie Irving says he will remain with the Celtics after this season…. Inside Gordon Hayward’s trek back to health…. More allegations of misconduct against the Dallas Mavericks are on the NBA’s radar…. Inside the Spurs training camp…. DeMarcus Cousins has signed a shoe deal with Puma.