Thunder at T-Wolves preview (Preseason Game 2)

okc logo at twolves

  • When: Friday, 05 October 2018 at 7:00 pm CST
  • Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
  • TV: None (Streamed at OKCThunder.com and the Thunder app)
  • Radio: WWLS The Sports Animal (98.1 FM, 640 AM, 930 AM (Spanish))

There are times where basketball takes a backseat. Whether it’s the death of a loved one or a personal set-back, the human aspect of athletics usually gets lost in the minutiae of sports. On Wednesday, Paul George missed the Thunder’s preseason opener due to a personal matter. That personal matter turned out to be the passing of his girlfriend’s father.

On the other end of the spectrum, we find Andre Roberson. Catastrophic injuries are, unfortunately, a part of sports. When bodies are in motion, sometimes physics overtakes what the body can handle. Probably worse than the injury itself, is the recovery. In team sports, players are used to doing things together, in packs. But when a player is rehabbing, its usually done in solitude, away from the camaraderie of the group.  But making matters worse, is the set-back from the rehab. And that’s the news the Thunder and Roberson received on Thursday evening. Roberson, who was on his way to likely being back on the court sometime in November, will now be re-evaluated in 2 months.

This is what the Thunder have dealt with over the past 48 hours. The Thunder have reported that Paul George will be back for the T-Wolves game. But the Roberson set-back is something completely different. A lot of the Thunder’s future stock as a contender hinges on Roberson returning back to, or as close to, his pre-injury form as a defender. If he can’t, then the shooting guard position for the Thunder becomes a huge question mark throughout the season.

Injuries

Thunder

  • Russell Westbrook (knee) – Out
  • Andre Roberson (knee) – Out
  • Abdel Nader (knee) – Out

T-Wolves

  • Jimmy Butler (“wrist”) – Out
  • Justin Patton (foot) – Out

3 Things In This Game

1. Terrance Ferguson

Ferguson was given the vote of confidence from Billy Donovan earlier today to remain the starting shooting guard for the time being. After shoot around on Friday, Donovan said the following to the Oklahoman: “He’s been kind of the one constant in terms of who’s been out there and being healthy and being able to go through everything. So he’s earned the right to go out there and play and start in these games just based on what he’s done so far in training camp.” I don’t know if the “he hasn’t gotten hurt and he’s been here” criteria is one that emits a ton of confidence, but here we are.

The second year guard scored 6 points on two 3-pointers against the Pistons, but didn’t shoot his first shot until the 2nd half.

2. Steven Adams vs. Karl Anthony Towns

Towns vs. Adams is always a weird match-up because they give each other fits. Towns is an offensive wizard from the center position and can take his game away from the basket which frustrates Adams. But Towns’ lack of interior defense allows Adams to always have big scoring games against Minnesota. I doubt too much changes in this duel.

3. Patrick Patterson

Four shots. That’s it. After scorching the nets in the Blue & White scrimmage (I know, it’s just an intrasquad scrimmage), Patterson should have gotten a couple more looks in the Detroit game. Instead, the Thunder’s offense was basically an Adams/Schröder pick and roll fest and that’s about it, especially in the 2nd half. While it worked a lot of the time, the offense became predictable as the game wore on.

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