One thing to point out before we get started “breaking down” this game, is that these games are about as important as your cousin’s ultimate frisbee tournaments. The final score doesn’t matter (OKC WON 88-77: CHAMPIONSHIP!!!) and the players are rusty from not having played in two months. AND IT’S JUST THE SUMMER LEAGUE. But there are few things to take with you from this game because after all, the purpose of these leagues are for players to get better and management to evaluate players.
Keep in mind this is the summer league and the competition isn’t exactly top notch (as perfectly illustrated by Orlando’s rag-tag bunch). So keep all this in perspective.
- The Thunder’s roster was basically made up of actual roster players. The Magic had a lot of scrub type guys, but OKC was playing guys that are actually going to be on the team this fall. That should show you just how young this team is. Also, no non-Thunder player made it into the game. DeVon Hardin saw just a few minutes of action, but basically the entire game was played by guys tied to Oklahoma City’s roster.
- One thing we definitely learned about Serge Ibaka: He is not a myth. He actually exists. And he was much better than I anticipated in every way. I expected a raw, athletic talent with hardly any refined skills. His offensive game was much more polished and crisp than I expected (13 points on 6 of 8 shooting). I figured he’d be a “score by dunk only” kind of player. But the first bucket was scored by Serge on a nice drop step post move. He was really solid in the post. He’s also much quicker than I thought. A couple of times he caught the ball at the free throw line and was able to take two dribbles and get around his man en route to the basket. He also had a little jumper, which was something I didn’t see coming as he swished a nice 12-footer. He turned the ball over some, but honestly, that was to be expected. It’s his first game over here and I’m sure he was pressing some, but I was very impressed. Keep Reading…