Thunder Throwback: Domantas Sabonis shows what he can do

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- MARCH 31: Domantas Sabonis
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- MARCH 31: Domantas Sabonis /
Domantas Sabonis
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 11: Domantas Sabonis #3 of the OKC Thunder shoots the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first quarter of the game on April 11, 2017 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Every Thursday Thunderous Intentions throws it back with a look back at timely performances from past OKC Thunder seasons.

The perceived lopsidedness of the Paul George trade continues to be a constant theme of any conversation centered around the transaction. Even Thunder fans have been guilty of forgetting the flashes of talent Domantas Sabonis showed in his rookie season.

It takes a talented player – even with the abnormal circumstances in Oklahoma City – to start 66 games for a Playoff team as a rookie. His box score numbers may not have been remarkable, but it was apparent that the talent was there. T

he team and Head Coach Billy Donovan showed extreme confidence in the rookie. It was up to Sabonis to play with play with the assurance that he belonged on the court. At times the power forward struggled to demonstrate the confidence the team needed to see from him. Other times he wowed with a deft shooting touch and random rim-rattling dunks.

In a game on the road against the Boston Celtics, Sabonis showed off every arrow he had in his quiver.

The Starting Lineup

Russell Westbrook

Victor Oladipo

Andre Roberson

Domantas Sabonis

Steven Adams

The Event

The Oklahoma City Thunder played the Boston Celtics on the road, looking to get a win against a good team after dropping a couple of frustrating games. The Celtics were playing well behind the play of Isaiah Thomas who scored 34 and served up 10 assists. The hero of the game turned out to be Russell Westbrook – the fourth quarter was one of his many highlights from an MVP season.

Domantas Sabonis got going early on in the contest by operating in the pick and roll. He looked comfortable rolling to the rim or stepping out and taking the shot. Sabonis was 4-5 from three in the first half for 17 points.

Sabonis added this nice dunk for special effect.

Oklahoma City won the game 117-112 off two clutch Westbrook threes. The confidence that Sabonis showed in his play helped to stabilize the rest of the team. It should be no surprise that the 21-year old impresses fans in Indiana. He has always had the talent to be an impactful player in the NBA; this game was an early indicator of that.