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Sorry for the late recap but I’m just getting caught up on my DVR. In other news, Argo was really good.
The essentials: The Jazz dropped the Thunder to 0-2 in preseason play, 97-81, as Perry Jones III led Oklahoma City in scoring with 14 points. Russell Westbrook and James Harden didn’t play, while Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka both played fewer than 20 minutes.
The Jazz on the other hand, went with their starters for quite a lot of the second half, to which OKC’s second and third unit guys did a nice job of hanging tight with. But without real quality offensive options to look to, the Thunder couldn’t score enough points to make up a deficit. In summary, 0-2 PANIC.
Here are five quick takeaways:
1. There’s still time, but Cole Aldrich seems to have a firm hold on the backup big spot. Another pretty impressive outing from Aldrich. He notched a second straight double-double and a second straight night with three blocks. (Of note: Kendrick Perkins didn’t have consecutive double-doubles once last season. Preseason, I know, but still.) The baby hook is dropping and while Aldrich mostly does work on the glass when the ball comes his way, he’s doing a pretty solid job. And only two fouls!
It was a nice test to see how Aldrich could defend the post though and I’d give him a D. Granted, it was against Al Jefferson who is one of the more gifted post scorers in the league, but it seems Aldrich doesn’t know how to defend physically without fouling (or getting called for a foul, I should say). That’s something Perk has mastered.
2. Perry Jones is smoooooooth. Basically, the opposite of Cole Aldrich. At times, it just looks like butter for him. When the jumper is going, he can fill it up. As his confidence builds and he understands his role better, there’s no telling what kind of weapon he could be for the Thunder. He subbed in for KD in the second quarter and played mostly the 3 tonight.
I think role is going to be really important for Jones this season. Because the talent is there. Loads of it. Don’t forget: He’s a rookie and he’s going to do dumb things and take bad shots. But the guy can definitely play and I think he can absolutely help this team.
3. Hollis Thompson played the role of Sixth Man tonight and saw his first shot land wide right. In 20 minutes he scored six points and went 0-2 from 3. Kind of hard to get a real good read on his game.
4. Serge Ibaka looked as comfortable offensively as I can remember. It seems like he’s gained some confidence in the post and with the ball in his hands.
5. Lazar Hayward didn’t wear a headband and it totally freaked me out.