The Thunder dropped their third preseason game 116-96 in a game they really played bad. Without a 39-point fourth quarter, this score would’ve been pretty ugly. The Grizzlies shot 66 percent, OKC hit just 43 percent and overall, it was fairly terrible. James Harden did have 23 on 6-9 shooting and Daequan Cook had 16 on 3-6 from 3, which was nice. Cole Aldrich fouled out in only nine minutes. Yikes. The starters didn’t play much (about 20 minutes) and here’s where we say it was preseason and forget about it.
Rob Mahoney for HP on Durant playing five spots: “Allowing Durant positional fluidity is one way to tap into various aspects of his game, but that kind of change can be very superficial. It may demonstrate the Durantula’s ability to defend all types of players, but he’s just as capable of fulfilling the same roles (scoring, playmaking, whatever) regardless of his positional designation. Putting him at point guard doesn’t just transform him into a better passer, an aspect of his game that’s very much a work in progress. Putting him at center also doesn’t transform him into a stereotypical big, and may actually be harmful to his game if he’s pigeon-holed into the responsibilities of a typical 5 as a result.”
Just want to say welcome to Ben Golliver from Blazersedge who joins the CBS Sports staff today. Ben is an awesome writer and the only downside is he’s going to make me look bad.
Shaun Powell of NBA.com looks at the class of 2007 and who hasn’t been extended: “Jeff Green: He saw his teammate get a new deal in about five seconds. Obviously, the Thunder will think a bit longer about extending Green, a 6-9 ‘tweener who doesn’t rebound well (six per game). He lacks star appeal although he could last 10 years as a complementary player to Durant.”
Darnell Mayberry: “And what made this defeat, the second straight after a four-point victory in the exhibition opener last Wednesday against Charlotte, so discouraging is that the Thunder failed to properly perform so many fundamentals. Oklahoma City’s man defense was dreadful, its post defense was helpless and its transition defense was next to nonexistent.”
Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal: “Durant played only 17 minutes — all in the first half. His limited playing time played a part in the lopsided outcome. Even so, the Griz starters overwhelmed the Thunders’ first unit early with good ball movement, an active defense and center Marc Gasol’s most impressive performance since training camp began. The 7-footer made his first nine shots while amassing a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds.”
If you missed the Daily Dime, here’s the wrap of that chat.