The Thunder beat the Timberwolves 112-94 to improve to oh who cares in the preseason. Here are some very important thoughts about the first true home game for OKC:
- Russell Westbrook was announced first in the starting lineups. He had been announced last at other games that weren’t in OKC. I don’t know why I’m paying attention to this.
- The Thunder had everyone available tonight that will be available opening night, so this was a bit of a dress rehearsal of sorts. Regular rotation minutes for a lot of guys for three quarters. Results: mixed. Some very good. Some other clear signs there’s big work to be done. The Wolves sat a lot of regulars, but still had a pretty good lineup out there with a lot of solid NBAers.
- Lots of posting for Westbrook tonight. That’s going to be a big part of OKC’s offense. Post Westbrook, side screen-and-roll, diving big man, kick out, etc.
- Steven Adams was monstrous. This guy is going to have a big time season. In 22 minutes he went for 20 and 11, and completely big boy’d Cole Aldrich on numerous occasions.
- Semaj Christon is a good player. I just felt like repeating this.
- Possibly interesting: Christon played in front of Ronnie Price. Might meaning nothing, but could mean something.
- Not much time for Alex Abrines in this one. He had a right hip contusion and didn’t return from it. No update on his status going forward. Was first off the bench, but only saw 11 minutes.
- After shooting the 3 pretty well the last two games, the Thunder hit just 1-11 from deep in the first half, then 3-6 in the second half for 4-17 overall. Not good.
- Domantas Sabonis is going to be a very good player. His feel is so impressive. Really good passer and doesn’t try to do too much at all.
- John Lucas III really does look a lot like Carlton Banks.
- Kyle Singler: 3-4 from 3. That’s now 12 of his last 16 from 3. Billy Donovan had this thing pregame talking about judging a player on makes and misses, and how someone can play well and the ball just doesn’t go in. That’s fair and true, but not when it extends to an entire season. When so much of a guy’s role is to take and make open shots, when you do that poorly for a game, or two, or even three, it’s not a big deal. When it’s for six months, it means you played bad. In basketball, the ball going in or not defines a lot of whether someone was good or not. That’s literally the crux of the game.
Next up: The final preseason game, home against the Nuggets on Tuesday