Ahhh, they’re back. The OKC Thunder – minus Russell Westbrook – lost to the Houston Rockets 104-97 in the their preseason opener. I’ve got some things, both good and bad, to address.
It feels so good to have the Oklahoma City Thunder back in our lives. Tonight was the first look of the 2017 version of the Thunder, minus Russell Westbrook, Alex Abrines and Patrick Patterson. Without their leader OKC played fairly well against a Houston team playing an eight man rotation deep into the third quarter.
Throw away the score when you break down this game. While Mike D’Antoni was focused on working Chris Paul with his main playing partners, Billy Donovan used the time to get Oklahoma City’s young prospects valuable playing time. Terrance Ferguson, Daniel Hamilton and Josh Huestis all got at least 14 minutes; they all looked pretty good too.
More importantly, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George looked comfortable in Billy Donovan’s offense. There were obviously moments where players were late to screens and misreading teammates, but overall the ball movement on offense is already better.
That’s only the basics from Oklahoma City’s preseason opener. I’ve got five major takeaways from tonight’s game – I’ve even foreshadowed a few of them for you. Read through so you can have more knowledge than any of your friend’s about the new-look Thunder.