May 15, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Reggie Jackson (15) dribbles the ball in the Memphis Grizzlies zone during game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Grizzlies defeated the Thunder 88-84. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Preseason more important for the OKC Thunder than usual

Preseason basketball in the NBA is usually not a very important thing.

It’s a time to get on the court together against another team for a few minutes here and there, but it’s nothing compared to the regular season, which isn’t even saying that much.

This year, it will be of some importance for the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are looking to answer some questions as the season approaches.

The biggest question to be answered is how the Thunder will deal without Russell Westbrook for the first 4-6 weeks of the season. Other players will need to step up and we still aren’t quite sure who that will be.

In their first preseason action vs. Fenerbahce Ulker a few days ago, the Thunder got out to a slow start, trailing the Turkish team 28-20 after the first quarter. The starting unit was not too strong as Reggie Jackson took the place of Westbrook and we did not see yet the kind of chemistry and rhythm the Thunder will need to be successful without Russ.

The Thunder will play in their second preseason game tomorrow afternoon vs. the Philadelphia 76ers. Once again, the microscope will be on the little things that are going on with the team.

We want to see how Jackson is doing starting at the point. How is Jeremy Lamb playing and can he provide some of the scoring the Thunder are losing with Kevin Martin? Will Serge Ibaka be able to get some looks in the offense without Russ? Can Perry Jones or Steven Adams crack the rotation this season?

The coaching staff is taking note too and what they see in these preseason games will likely play a role in selecting the rotation when the regular season begins.

For the first time in a long time, the NBA season is already underway, Thunder fans.

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