OKC Thunder: Chris Paul and young core scouting for future games

OKC Thunder players Chris Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Darius Bazley, and Lu Dort were spotted courtside scouting the LA clubs.

The NBA is back! For the first time since March 11th, basketball fans got to witness competitive games that will count toward the 2019-20 season.  The OKC Thunder will play their first match on Saturday.

Four teams tipped off the resumption of the season on Thursday night as the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans relaunched the season. Although the Pelicans built a 16 point lead they allowed the Jazz back in the game coughing up the victory in a match that could end up costing them that precious ninth seed they’re seeking to get into the play-in tournament.

There was a certain symmetry to the night specifically tied to Rudy Gobert and his influence on the match. Gobert was the player who tested positive for COVID-19 and the reason the game between the Jazz and OKC Thunder was postponed and subsequently, the season suspended. That he was the one to score the first bucket of the restart and cap the Jazz win with two free throws felt appropriate.

In the marquee match of the night the LA juggernauts squared off as the LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers played. This was a back and forth match that could’ve gone either way as each team flirted with breaking out only to succumb and give back the lead. In the end, a followup rebound by LeBron James on his own shot led to the two-point difference that gave the Lakers the win.

Both games demonstrated the rust players are experiencing via the multiple turnovers. In both games, turnovers could be pinpointed as key factors leading to the victories.

To that end, there are lessons to be learned from these two games and as it turns out the OKC Thunder got some first-hand insights on those keys.

Now that there are games and since all the players are living together on the Disney campus the players can attend games.

There were several players who elected to take in the Clippers-Lakers match. While players are also fans of the game there might be more to this than simply a bunch of guys watching a basketball game.

Raptors Kyle Lowry and his former teammate DeMar DeRozan can be spotted in the front row of the picture above. Like Chris Paul, Lowry is the captain of his team and the Lakers are the first game his crew will play. The bulldog point guard is likely taking mental notes on the Lakers for their game Saturday.

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Look one row behind Lowry though and you can see Chris Paul along with the future of the OKC Thunder. Seating left to right is Luguentz Dort, Darius Bazley, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and CP3.

Like the Raptors the Thunder will face the Lakers but not until August 5th. OKC wil also play the Clippers in their eighth-seeded game on August 14th. Joining his young core the group could look for hints on how to play the LA clubs.

Looking ahead if OKC were to win their first-round playoff series one of these two LA clubs is likely who’ll they’ll face so they’re killing two birds with one stone by attending this match.

This reinforces how serious CP3, SGA, and their teammates are about competing with a view of making a deep run in the postseason.

And, as Brandon Rahbar of Daily Thunder points out this is yet another great example of CP3 leading and mentoring his young charges.

Next: 10 things we learned about Thunder during the scrimmages
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