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Game 1 Pregame Primer: Thunder (0-0) @ Rockets (0-0)

Game 1 Pregame Primer: Thunder (0-0) @ Rockets (0-0)

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7PM @ Toyota Center, Fox Sports Oklahoma ?

Projected starting lineups:

Oklahoma CityHouston
PG: George HillPG: James Harden
SG: Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderSG: Eric Gordon
SF: Lu DortSF: Danuel House
PF: Darius BazleyPF: P.J. Tucker
C: Al HorfordC: Christian Wood

3 Big Things

  • Winning is okay. Oklahoma City’s fans are rare in that we lack the typical early-season optimism for the home team–no one is talking themselves into a path to the playoffs for these Thunder. At DT, we’re firmly team tank, but 0-72 isn’t the goal. The best time for rare wins to come this season? Against teams like the Rockets, whose pick future in large part belongs to OKC.
  • GATHERING FOR HAIRCUTS. In what is likely to be a rocky start to the NBA’s non-bubble covid season, flagrant acting out by James Harden has been getting our attention. He’s put his own Game 1 in jeopardy by clubbing the league’s protocols, but several other Rockets (including John Wall and Boogie Cousins) might be out as well, with an accompanying headline that puts into perspective how depressing pandemic life is. Yes, getting haircuts is dangerous in the year 2020. And yes, it seems unlikely that the abundance of caution needed from traveling players to keep rosters free from the ravages of quarantine (or worse, the ravages of the virus) will not be…abundant.
  • Don’t forget Shai. As excited as we are to watch the growth of Theo Maledon, Aleksej Pokusevski, and Mike Muscala, the development of SGA (and to a lesser degree, Darius Bazley) is almost certainly going to be more crucial to the Thunder’s plans for the future than that of the other young pups. Let’s see if he starts strong.

Olivia Panchal is live tweeting the game from the Daily Thunder account, as is our beat writer, Brandon Rahbar.