The Oklahoma City Thunder sure are competitive for a team that isn’t trying to be competitive whatsoever. While they couldn’t capitalize on a halftime lead or a 12-point lead in the second quarter, OKC’s young guys flexed their muscles once again and made a matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies competitive until the end of the game when Memphis expanded on their lead.
OKC fell to 19-25 after losing to the Grizzlies 116-107.
Here are five observations from the game.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has missed a handful of games for various reasons. Formerly it was knee soreness, and here recently, it’s due to plantar fasciitis. During OKC’s matchup against the Grizzlies, Marc Stein reported that OKC’s star would be out for an extended period with the injury. However, SGA was undoubtedly the most animated player on the bench in street clothes, jumping up and down and cheering for his team.
Mark Daigneault is a great coach in the making.
Because any coach that can take this roster and be competitive deserves their flowers. Sam Presti has done everything feasible to make the Thunder uncompetitive this season, and somehow, they aren’t terrible. OKC premiered a lineup that involved Moses Brown, Ty Jerome, and Aleksej Pokusevski, three guys who’ve spent extended time on OKC’s G-League affiliate, the Blue. That’s a testament to coach Daggy’s coaching ability.
Moses Brown is a G.
Brown came into the game halfway through the first quarter and recorded four points, five rebounds, and one block over the span of four minutes. The Thunder also went on an 11-4 run immediately after he checked in. That parlayed into a double-double halfway through the second quarter, after only playing for 13 minutes. Brown, who’s on a two-way contract just like Dort was last season, needs to be signed to a deal as soon as possible.
Brown finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks.
Poku looks so confident.
After being critical of Poku, deservingly so, he’s not been bad. He has excellent games, then he has terrible games, but regardless of the type of game he’s having, he looks confident, and that’s something that couldn’t have been said two months ago when he appeared scared, lost, and incapable of playing in the NBA.
For the second game in a row, Poku scored in double figures with 13 points against the Grizzlies.
Dort didn’t look good.
Dort was one of two regular starters that played on Wednesday night and probably had the worst game of any active player, which is atypical.
Typically, you’ll see Dort rise to the occasion when the Thunder are shorthanded like they were tonight and have been through a large portion of the season. Tonight, that simply wasn’t the case for the second-year player. Dort finished the game with a very deceivingly impressive stat line of 14 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.
The Thunder will play the struggling Boston Celtics on Saturday night in an 8 PM tipoff in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.