OKC Thunder defensive guard Luguentz Dort is progressing but his status for game 1 remains questionable.
The OKC Thunder and Houston Rockets will begin their first-round series on Tuesday, August 18th at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (5:30 p.m. CT).
The big question for both teams is injury status as each club has a starter who is injured. Luguentz Dort had a knee on knee collision in the Miami Heat game with Jae Crowder. It caused him to leave the match and as we noted it looked worse than it turned out to be. The next day following an MRI it was disclosed Dort had a knee sprain (we noted the details here).
On Sunday in his media session, Billy Donovan told the assembled group the rookie guard’s availability wasn’t definitive yet. They are approaching his situation on a day to day basis. Donovan noted Dort has improved and is progressing (which means the pain and swelling are both reducing). The coach is hopeful he will continue in that direction and the team can get him back sooner, rather than later.
Lu Dort status for Game 1 uncertain:
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The fact he is even a consideration is positive because this could’ve been so much worse than it is. No doubt, the OKC Thunder medical team will exercise caution since there is no need to rush him back and then have it result in a further injury.
In the interim, the coach confirmed the team will need to adjust if Dort isn’t ready. Fortunately, there are options Terrance Ferguson, who had his own injury issues returned recently and was the starter before Dort assumed the role.
Others who the coach could consider are Andre Roberson or Hamidou Diallo. Both of the latter options will likely spend some time on James Harden anyway given his scoring prowess.
Donovan cited Hami and TFerg as well as Dennis Schroder as options. But if they take the latter route it will affect the reserve unit and require Donovan to make some interesting choices in terms of how he handles that situation.