Royce Young (ESPN) with the medical update on Russell Westbrook: “Russell Westbrook is “progressing” and getting nearer to a return, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Thursday, but has not been cleared for full-contact practice yet, leaving the All-Star point guard’s status for the season opener in question.”
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A journey has to start somewhere. And for the Oklahoma City Thunder, their journey into the 2018-19 season starts tonight. Thankfully, it’s at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in front of what should be a raucous home crowd. The Detroit Pistons come into town looking to kick-start their preseason docket of five games, and bring with them a pair of familiar faces. While Reggie Jackson will likely illicit some boos from the crowd, hometown boy Blake Griffin should receive the opposite. Continue reading Pistons vs. Thunder Preview (Preseason Game 1)→
Welcome to the Topic: Thunder Podcast. On behalf of myself, Anthony Montero, Dylan Huntzinger, Stephen Dolan, and Matthew Mullins, we welcome you to our humble podcast abode.
On the inaugural episode, we introduce you to The Weekly, our weekly podcast where we discuss the week that was for the Thunder and what will be coming up in the next week. On this episode, we discuss:
Looking back at media day
Breaking down the stories from the first week of training camp
Blue and White scrimmage talk
Previewing the upcoming preseason games
Preseason Hot Takes: Cover Me
Thank you for listening. We will be doing a podcast once a week. If you have any Thunder or NBA related questions, make sure you hit us up on Twitter (@OKCTopicThunder)
We are on ITunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, and Tune In under the NTTB Podcast. Make sure you leave us a 5-star review if you can. As always, Thunder Up!
Finally. After eons of waiting, the time has arrived. Well, not really the real time. That would be reserved for 20 days from today. But real enough to follow a GameCast of the game on ESPN. Real enough to catch highlights on NBATV. And real enough to begin complaining about Scott Brooks and his lack of offensive imagination. The rest of the season for the Thunder begins today.
The Denver Nuggets come into the game having already played one preseason game. They lost to the Los Angeles Lakers 98-95 in Kobe Bryant’s first game in action since an injury riddled 203-14 campaign. The Thunder are set to face their Northwest Division rivals four times this season.
The Nuggets are looking to build off a season that saw four rotational players miss significant portions of the season due to significant knee injuries (Danilo Gallinari, Nate Robinson, JJ Hickson, and JaVale McGee). The Nuggets are two years removed from being the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference heading into the playoffs. That team featured a lot of the same players that are still on the roster. The offense is spearheaded by Ty Lawson. The prodigal son, Arron Afflalo, returns after getting traded back to the Nuggets in the offseason to bring them defensive stability on the perimeter. Up front, Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov form an energetic duo that gets most of their points off rebounds and garbage baskets. Off the bench, the Nuggets will probably try to play their rookies Gary Harris and Jusuf Nurkic to get them some in-game experience.
Probable Starting Line-ups
PG – Ty Lawson
SG – Randy Foye
SF – Arron Afflalo
PF – Kenneth Faried
C – Timofey Mozgov
Oklahoma City Thunder
PG – Russell Westbrook
SG – Andre Roberson
SF – Kevin Durant
PF – Serge Ibaka
C – Steven Adams
3 Keys to the Game
1. SG battle – This preseason will be about deciding who will start at SG for the Thunder. Roberson seems to have the edge on Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Jackson, though. He started 16 games for the Thunder last season and outplayed Lamb in the Blue and White scrimmage.
2. Young guys – Mitch McGary, Grant Jerrett, and Perry Jones should see some action this preseason.
3. Ball-movement – The talk about the offense coming into every season is always about the increase in ball-movement. Yet, anytime the going gets tough or when the game is on the line, the offense always reverts back to iso-ball.
BONUS – 4. Don’t get hurt – It’s the preseason. We are playing for June.