The Grizzlies beat the Thunder 110-94 on Thursday in Tulsa. It was very much a preseason game. Here are a couple life-changing thoughts:
- Russell Westbrook played 16 minutes, all in the first half. It seemed like it might’ve been a tiny taste of what his rotation minutes might look like. The Thunder functioned reasonably well when he was on the floor, but it felt like Westbrook was trying to do far too much at times. Really forcing the issue on the pick-and-roll, trying to squeeze pocket passes where they didn’t exist. He shot it well, though, scoring 17 plus four assists.
- The Thunder shot it really well from 3. In fact, that’s two straight games they’ve shot it pretty well. As a team they went 14-21. That’ll do.
- Starring as the 3-point marksmen: Alex Abrines and Kyle Singler, who both went 5-6 from deep. That’s a combined 10-12, you guys. If that keeps up the entire season, that would be helpful.
- Victor Oladipo hasn’t played well these last two games. He just wasn’t in it at all tonight. Turned it over, fell down a lot, shot it bad, got beat on defense, made silly passes. It’s preseason and there’s zero reason to react to that, but it’s just worth pointing out: He hasn’t played well.
- It’s pretty crazy Kyle Singler is going to make the All-Star team this year.
- I like Kaleb Tarczewski. I hope he doesn’t make the roster because I’m already tired of typing Tarczewski. But he can play a little. I predict he’ll be on someone’s roster by the end of the season. High energy, solid defensively, good rebounder.
- Semaj Christon is better than Ronnie Price. Especially considering age and upside. Christon could be the odd man out, unless something gives with Mitch McGary, but with Cameron Payne out, I think I’d rather have him as Westbrook’s backup.
- So. Many. Fouls. It was brutal.
- The Thunder are turning it over a ton. That’s not necessarily a new development, but their offense isn’t good enough like it used to be to put up 110 in spite of them. They really need to value it.
- Josh Huestis can play a little, y’all. I tried to tell you. His athleticism is off the charts and he’s starting to figure things out some. He can hit from the corners, but he’s finding room to put it on the floor, playing solid defense and has potential to play a 3/4 role.
Next up: Home against the Wolves on Sunday