It was a very entertaining game for the most part. Two teams who will finish in the bottom third of the league went at it for forty-eight minutes and were tied with nine seconds left in the game.
OKC came out of the timeout… got the ball in Shai Gligeous-Alexander’s hands as he then basically nailed a two pointer to win the game, 109-107.
The game never should have come to that last shot by SGA as in a two minute and ten second span the Thunder were outscored 18-5. It was a display of total point guard dysfunction during this span as the ball was turned over five times while close out free throws were missed. But in the end on this night against a team of Charlotte’s caliber the Thunder escaped with a win.
I’m not dissing Shai. I think he’s good player who’s a hybrid guard who’s not a primary ball handler. A hybrid guard who would fit nicely with Cade Cunningham running the point for the Thunder.
Five Thunder players scored in double figures on the night with Shai leading the way with 24 points. George Hill was next in line with 21 points and some much needed maturity on the floor.
Darius Bazely had a rock solid night from my view and very much looks the part of a player who’s going to be more than just a role player as his game evolves. Kid has one of those Tyler Herro smirks. Darius could have gone to John Marshall High School. Trust me.
Lu Dort had 15 points and Mikey Muscala added 14 points and was a real positive for the Thunder. Muscala should play twenty minutes a game at least every game this season.
Theo Maledon struggled but showed some glimpses of what he can be as a guard at the NBA level.
Big Al Horford didn’t shoot much and had an unusually quiet game.
Kenrich Williams was the tenth guy and was a genuine spark plug for Coach D. I could come to love Kenrich Williams as he plays every minute like it might be his last before being cut. Kind of like Lu Dort played last year before he finally got a contract. TSN (Toughness, Smarts, Nasty… drips off of Kenrich and for that reason he’ll probably along with Dort keep me watching the Thunder as we get into the tough parts of this transitional season for the Thunder.
The Serbian Express played 11 minutes and in those minutes he was a team worse -16 and 0-6 shooting threes. He apparently doesn’t shoot anything but threes. Not one of his shots even remotely came close to the cylinder of the rim, but he keeps jacking them. They must not shoot two point shots in the Greek B league.
But otherwise I thought it was a night of positives as I watched the game imagining what Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley would look like replacing George Hill and Al Horford next season in the Thunder’s rotation.
The only real negative for me was the Greek Serbian’s shot selection. He actually deflects a lot of balls with that reach of his. We might need to start charting his deflections on the defensive end to be fair to him.
The Thunder are 1-0 and above .500 heading into Game 2.
I think the Thunder play Utah next. The real question heading into Sunday is if the Cleveland Browns can beat the New York Jets without four of their receivers. This could only happen to the Cleveland Browns.
Enjoy the 1-0 while it lasts.