Last night, we had a matchup that would have been very intriguing during the regular season, but in preseason form, didn’t quote live up to the same ticket.
Kevin Durant and Jeremy Lamb each scored 22 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Chicago Bulls 104-95 in their final preseason game before the regular season.
Durant made a lot of great passes in the game that had Jeff Van Gundy raving about his improved passing. He finished with five assists, but the Bulls doubled him seemingly every time he caught the ball coming off screens. Durant made quick decisions and accurate passes out of traps, something he’ll have to do a lot in the beginning of the season without Westbrook.
Lamb again looked a little tentative at the start of the game, but found some rhythm after a few fastbreak layups. He showed his great touch in the lane with some floaters and midrange jumpers. He always looks really comfortable curling off screens and he has a good repertoire of shots in and around the rim.
Derrick Rose led the Bulls with 26 points and six assists. He made all 10 of his free throws and went 4-of-8 from three.
Rose looks like he is back to right where he was pre-injury. His cuts with the ball on a dime are always breathtaking and electric. He also looks really comfortable shooting the three.
The Thunder were without Serge Ibaka as Perry Jones started in place of him. Jones really struggled guarding Carlos Boozer on the block. The game just looks to be going 100 mph for him right now. It feels like it’s all about confidence for him and if he can build that, he can get to the point where he can contribute in this rotation, but he’s not there yet.
Reggie Jackson looked solid again, and didn’t seem to get abused by Rose at any point. He finished with 14 points and six assists. The Bulls left him open at the three-point line all game and he only made 1-of-5 threes.
Steven Adams was once again impressive as he always is. He finished with 11 points and seven rebounds, two of which were offensive. He really finishes around the rim well and hustles like crazy to get rebounds. I just hope Adams gets a shot early in the season to get some playing time. I can’t imagine the coaching staff isn’t impressed by him and wouldn’t want to get him some run.
It’s less than a week now before the Thunder will open the 2013-14 season on the road vs. the Utah Jazz, Wednesday, Oct. 30.