The Oklahoma City Thunder will play their sixth preseason game tonight vs. the Chicago Bulls in Chicago.
The Thunder are 3-2 so far in the preseason having won their last three games. Tonight, stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will be rested so that head coach Scott Brooks can take a closer look at some of the other players.
“Give some looks to other guys,” Brooks told The Oklahoman. “It had nothing to do with injuries. I wanted to see guys play extended minutes and (this was) the only way to do that, because we have so many guys at the wing spot.”
The Thunder had their starting five play for the first time against the Charlotte Bobcats a few days back as Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins played their first preseason games. They should play again tonight and start.
James Harden is expected to return to the floor tonight and potentially even start. Harden missed the last five games with a strained groin.
Eric Maynor will start at point guard in place of Westbrook. Maynor has looked good so far in the preseason and has a 3.53-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
With the concentration on getting a look at the wing players, expect to see a lot of DeAndre Liggins and Lazar Hayward who are competing with each other and a few more for the final roster spot.
We may see a lot more of rookie Perry Jones III too who has primarily been backing up Durant during the preseason. Jones has been great so far although his last game vs. Denver was not his best.
The Bulls are not exactly at full strength either as Derrick Rose is of course still sidelined with his knee injury. Kirk Hinrich and former Thunder player Nate Robinson will be handling the point guard duties for the Bulls.
Chicago also overhauled their bench this offseason so they won’t have the same depth as usual either.
This game will finally be televised on NBATV at 8 p.m. EST tonight.