Three things to know from Tuesday’s practice, the last one before the Thunder take the floor for the first time under Billy Donovan:
1.Mitch McGary gave a little insight into some of the changes Billy Donovan is making on the defensive end. Specifically in that there appear to be some changes in how the Thunder are going to defend the pick-and-roll.
“This summer has been key for me in improving on defense,” McGary said. “New ball screen defense was incorporated, so it’s a lot. I wouldn’t say easier, but it’s less difficult than it was last year. The guards are more involved in trying to get over the screen and helping the bigs get back to their man. So I think we have a pretty good understanding of it. We’re not going to be perfect because we just installed it the last couple weeks. But I’ve been working at it over the summer while I’ve been here.”
2. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are likely going to play between 18 and 22 minutes in tomorrow night’s game against the Wolves.
“I think for Russell and Kevin, getting those guys between 18 and 22 [minutes],” Donovan said. “And I think slowly building up from there as we move closer to the opening game.”
Westbrook and Durant won’t play in every preseason game, which is standard, but are set to almost definitely start tomorrow night’s game. Who they will be joined by is up in the air as Billy Donovan didn’t want to reveal his starting five, while also saying that he anticipates it changing during the preseason as he tries different combinations.
3. Serge Ibaka says his knee is feeling totally good. And Steven Adams participated in most of practice today, though is likely to sit tomorrow’s game in Minnesota.