The Thunder announced Jeff Green is out and Kevin Durant is questionable for tonight’s game in Boston because of ankle injuries. That’s six out of seven games Green has missed after spraining an ankle and then tweaking it Sunday against the Spurs. If Durant misses the Celtics game, it would be the first game he has missed since the spring of 2009.
That’s one reason why I wouldn’t worry too much about Durant missing the game, if I had to bet on it. If this is the same ankle injury he suffered that caused him to spend a little time on the floor Wednesday against the Rockets and slowly walk it off, then we know he’s already played on the ankle. But it could certainly have stiffened up after he cooled down following the game and the team took almost as lengthy an NBA flight the Thunder will have on the trip to Boston. (Side note: That’s an underrated lucky factor the Thunder has going for it. Oklahoma City’s central location means there aren’t many, if any, flights the team has to take that are longer than about three hours. Only a cross-country road trip would make them have an uncomfortably long journey, and trips like that don’t often show up on the NBA schedule.)
Serge Ibaka will surely start again for Green. It would be interesting to see what lineup and rotation changes Scott Brooks comes up with if Durant has to sit, although “interesting” is a relative term because I don’t know if Oklahoma City could compete with Boston on the road if Durant can’t play. James Harden would be a good bet to start at shooting guard with Thabo Sefolosha sliding over to small forward, or the two would act interchangeably depending on what the offensive and defensive sets called for. Maybe Oklahoma City would go small for a big portion of the game.