April 25, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) drives to the basket against Denver Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari (8) during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Denver Nuggets Preseason Preview


The Oklahoma City Thunder return home tonight to take on the Denver Nuggets in what will be their fifth game of the preseason.

The Thunder won their last game vs. the Phoenix Suns 107-97 to improve to 2-2 on the season. The starters have been playing more lately as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka each played 28 minutes vs. Phoenix.

James Harden, Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha all did not play vs. the Suns and will probably be out again tonight. Although, Harden and Sefolosha did play in the Thunder Blue and White Scrimmage three days ago.

Hasheem Thabeet started at center in the last game instead of Cole Aldrich but has still yet to show much of anything. The backup center job is Aldrich’s to lose and Daniel Orton, not Thabeet, seems to be the only player with a chance to challenge for it.

Reggie Jackson and Eric Maynor continue to split time in the backup point role with Jackson playing slightly more. Jackson looks much improved from a season ago and can fill up the stat sheet but is very turnover prone, while Maynor is not and more of the true point guard-type.

DeAndre Liggins has impressed as much as any Thunder newcomer in the preseason and started at shooting guard in their last game. He has a very good shot to make the final roster cut as the 15th man it seems and may get the starting nod again tonight.

Rookie Perry Jones III did not play in the last game missing it for rest and should be back in action tonight. Jones has also been very impressive doing a lot of different things off the bench.

The Nuggets are 3-1 so far in the preseason beating the Clippers, Spurs and Warriors and losing to the Blazers most recently. Denver is looking to have a big year in 2012-13 having just acquired Andre Iguodala.

The Nuggets are deep and will be even for the preseason which will make this game a tough one for the Thunder to win. The pace should be very fast dominated by the point guards. It will be interesting to see if Maynor can have a big game in that setting.

The tip will be at 8 p.m. EST and again the game will not be televised. The best chance to watch will be online. The Thunder’s next game will finally be shown on NBATV vs. the Bulls Tuesday.

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder

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