At least this one didn’t count. Wait, didn’t I just say that two nights ago?
The Kings walloped Oklahoma City 104-89 and it wasn’t even that close. The Thunder shot poorly from everywhere and didn’t play that great of defense. But we’ll just tell ourselves it’s because the starters didn’t play much. Jeff Green played just 22 minutes. Kevin Durant 26. Russell Westbrook only 14. We saw a lot of Serge Ibaka, James Harden and Etan Thomas, especially in the second half. Which is fine by me. We know who the first five are. We just need to figure out the next.
I’m not worried by anything I saw honestly. Sure it was ugly, but these guys are sick of this. They’re ready to play for real. This was the last go-through-the-motions meaningless game and I don’t think they cared a ton. OKC plays this same team in just five days so it’s not like Scott Brooks was going to go all out and try and get a win tonight. Of course you’d love to see a better effort, but I just saw the whole night as very meh and a chance for some late rotation guys to maybe prove themselves a bit.
If there was one thing to take from this game, it was Serge Ibaka’s awesome fast break dunk coming from a sweet no-looker from Harden. That’s already in the running for my top plays of the year. Not too many times during a preseason game do you stand up and pull the “OHHHHHH!!!!!” routine. But I did there.
Speaking of, Ibaka was solid. He had nine points, seven boards and one block. He went 1-4 from the free throw line which is a shame, because he’s got such nice form. The more and more I see him, the more I think he’s playing his way into the rotation. We didn’t see any D.J. White or Byron Mullens on a night that supposedly was going to feature mainly the rotation guys. So maybe Ibaka’s 22 minutes mean something.
Undercover Brother, Kyle Weaver played some quality minutes tonight as well. He’s never going to blow you away offensively, but as long as he does what he did tonight (hit open shots and play solid defense) he should always have a spot. I hate to say it but injuries happen. And Weaver is exactly the type of player you want on your roster that you can plug in for a week to give you solid minutes. I think he’s worth keeping around.
It was nice to see Desmond Mason back in town and girlballer passed along this interesting note:
Royce– I don’t know if you are watching this close, but Desmond is breaking MY HEART!! After the half, he called KD over during warm-up and was literally GIVING HIM ADVICE for DEFENSE!! Just like he was still his teammate!! Sighs….. I miss Desmond…….
How cool is that? I’m still sad to see Dez go, but if he’s working for a staff spot once his time is up, that’s a pretty good start.
But the important thing – thanks to a friend (thanks again Derek), I was able to sit in a suite tonight for the first and probably last time in my life. It was just very cool to feel that wealthy for once. I pranced around with my lanyard and plastic ticket dangling from it. I got to park just steps away from the door instead of making the mile hike from Bass Pro. And I got to sit somewhere other than Loud City for once. The suite experience is very cool.
Thus wraps the preseason and onto bigger and better things next Wednesday. The Thunder doubled its win total from last year’s preseason, so if that means anything, we’re looking at 46 wins this year, right?
Next up is the Kings again at home, Wednesday in the season opener.