OKC Thunder recall Justin Patton to add depth while Nerlens Noel out

OKC Thunder (Photo by Dave Eggen/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder (Photo by Dave Eggen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In a move which has been made out of necessity with Nerlens Noel out, the OKC Thunder have recalled Justin Patton from the OKC Blue.

After Nerlens Noel injured his ankle against the Cleveland Cavalier, the OKC Thunder made the smart play. They have recalled Justin Patton from the G-League.

Mike Muscala came in against the Cavaliers after Noel got hurt and played quite well. The problem is that it was against the Cavaliers, a team without much of a big man presence.

The next game on the road trip is against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. Embiid even makes Steven Adams look human as opposed to the Goliath that he actually is.

Having only Adams and Muscala to take on Embiid is fraught with danger. Patton is an insurance policy against injury and foul trouble. He is a defensive minded center who can space the floor with his shooting. He is not as defensively adept as Noel; but who is.

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Patton is ninth in the G-League with 2.9 blocks (per G-League website) per game. Taking out the players who have only played two games or less, he is fourth. At NBA level it is best to halve this number and that is closer to what they will average against elite competition. Nevertheless,

Patton has shown that he can defend in the OKC Blue system. The good thing is, the OKC Thunder play similar systems so Patton should feel quite at home. He has also been scoring well, his 10.6 points per game are coming at 52.6 percent from the floor.

Patton is not going to emulate what Noel brings to the team. What he can do is spell Adams if Muscala gets into foul trouble or the other way around. He has not been given a chance with this Thunder team to show what he can do defensively.

dark. Next. The shot block mastery of Justin Patton

Patton has developed since the last time the OKC Thunder faithful saw him. He should get some game time as he is a bigger body than Muscala. Hopefully, the defensive genius that is Nerlens Noel comes back soon.