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Preseason Thoughts: Thunder 92, Barcelona 89


The Thunder beat the Basketball Messi’s by a score to a score today. Russell Westbrook played 21 minutes and scored 12 points with five assists. Enes Kanter had 24 and eight rebounds. Victor Oladipo scored 10, Andre Roberson had eight.

A few quick thoughts:

  • With Steven Adams sitting because of a sprained ankle (he’s fine), the Thunder replaced him with Kanter at center, alongside Domantas Sabonis. Kanter got decently roasted by Ante Tomic in the first half, but responded to play a pretty good second half.
  • Russell Westbrook played the first and third mostly, sitting the fourth quarter again. Westbrook is obviously going to be fine, but so far in these preseason games it’s pretty clear he’s adjusting to life as the runner of offense, instead of playing off a fellow star.
  • Andre Roberson looks like a whole new player. Granted, it’s two preseason games, but it’s plainly obvious he’s worked hard on ball-handling and decision-making off the dribble. He had a move in the first quarter that legitimately made me say out loud, “Who is this guy?” He attacked with his left hand, busted an in-and-out dribble, and got to the rim (the ball got poked out as he was going up for a layup). He hasn’t hesitated at all, and clearly has a mind to attack, rather than just loiter on the perimeter. I’m actually kind of excited about Andre Roberson, Possible Offensive Threat.
  • Alex Abrines ain’t scared. He hit two big 3s against Madrid, and knocked down a late jumper and a handful of free throws to ice this one. I’m cautiously optimistic about him as a role player.
  • Joey Dorsey got rejected by Abrines. And then by Victor Oladipo. Impressive blocks from OKC, but that’s two guards stuffing you.
  • Sabonis: 2-2 from 3. I’ve been repeating I thought he’d end up the starter at the 4 by the end of the season, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be it on opening night.
  • Joffrey Lauvernge played. He did a few things. Nothing all that important.
  • Semaj Christon did some nice things. I’m still thinking he’s going to be a Blue player this year, but if he impresses, he may force the front office to make a decision on Mitch McGary. Especially if Cameron Payne’s injury resurfaces.
  • Just 5-15 from 3 for OKC. It’s gonna be a struggle.
  • They allowed 14-31 from 3 as well. And that’s on top of Madrid roasting them from deep. The perimeter problems continue.

Next up: At the Mavs on Tuesday