The OKC Thunder are back in action on Thursday against the Detroit Pistons for their second preseason game as a tune-up for the 2023-24 regular season. These two teams will face off in Montreal, the hometown of Lu Dort.
On Monday, the OKC Thunder downed the San Antonio Spurs in their preseason opener. However, the big story from that game was watching Chet Holmgren and Victor Wembanyama debut against each other. As the two battled, the NBA world saw the potential start of one of the league’s best rivalries.
OKC Thunder takes on Detroit Pistons in the second preseason game as core four debuts.
Thursday’s second preseason game will be just as anticipated as the first. Monday served as merely a tease. Sure, we got to watch the first half of basketball Chet Holmgren played on an NBA court, but Thursday represents something bigger.
After missing the Spurs game with rest, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will make his 2023-24 debut and join the rest of this young core. Tonight’s tilt with the Pistons will be the first time Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren share the floor together.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
The Core four debuts:
Finally, over a year in the making, we will see Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, Jalen Williams, and Chet Holmgren share the floor together for the OKC Thunder. After Chet Holmgren missed the entire 2022-23 season, he returned to the hardwood on Monday against Victor Wembanyama. Still, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was sidelined for rest to help manage his preseason minutes after the FIBA World Cup.
Chet Holmgren was stellar in his debut, and between that tilt and the past two Summer Leagues, we have seen him dominate with Josh Giddey and Jalen Williams. Now, The OKC Thunder has added a new dynamic to the fold with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. How does he work with Holmgren?
Since taking over as the guy on the OKC Thunder, Chet Holmgren represents the best pick-and-roll partner Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has played with. While Horford provided a lot in his small sample size, Holmgren adds a different element with his lob threat and popping ability.
This group has been talked about as the best young core in the entire NBA, and now they will finally share the floor together.
Vasilije Micic set to make his NBA Debut:
After a trio of flirty summers, Vasilije Micic finally agreed to sign in Oklahoma City, making the leap from the EuroLeague to the NBA. Overseas, Micic was a two-time EuroLeague MVP and Champion, and as a 29-year-old rookie, he can add some leadership to this young team.
On Monday, Vasilije Micic was sidelined with an ankle injury that was considered day-to-day missing the Spurs tilt. However, Micic is now healthy and set to make his NBA debut.
Vasilije Micic will be tasked with organizing the secondary unit as a primary ball handler. I think OKC Thunder fans will be excited with his blend of playmaking and scoring.
Lu Dort playing in his Hometown:
This game will act as an OKC Thunder home game, but the team has traveled to Montreal to take on the Pistons in Lu Dort’s hometown. Following Monday’s practice, Dort told us this is the first time he has played in Montreal since his Junior year of High School.
The Thunder have spent the last 24 hours giving back to the Montreal community, and the stands will clearly be filled with Dort supporters. Soak in the human element of this extremely cool situation.