Tanking Diary: Poku and Mykhailiuk Shine in Thunder loss

It’s all finally starting to work out for ole Sam Presti. The Thunder’s youth are getting valuable experience, and that’s it. OKC has lost three-straight games and fell to (19-27) after a 127-102 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

The Thunder experience has officially changed this season. All along, we knew what Sam Presti was cooking up, but it’s finally coming to fruition now, and the purpose of games through the remaining 26 games is to watch young talent develop. Not to watch a team compete for a hard-fought victory.

The Thunder are celebrating hard-fought losses, literally.

From a player development standpoint, you have to be impressed with the way Aleksej Pokusevski and Svi Mykhailiuk played.

Poku hasn’t been rather unimpressive in his rookie season, but that’s because he’s having a hard time assimilating to the NBA game, primarily due to the game’s speed. Since returning to the Thunder from the G-League bubble, he’s looked comfortable, more assertive, and decisive. More importantly, the game has slowed down for him.

Poku scored 21 points and six rebounds on 8-of-17 shooting against Dallas.

The heartbreak of losing Diallo has been alleviated in part due to the way Svi’s been playing. He was advertised as an above-average shooter, but his athleticism wasn’t raved about. That wasn’t an attribute on display during his time with the Detroit Pistons. As we’ve seen a handful of times in his tenure with the Thunder and twice today, Svi’s an underrated athletic player with a deceiving leaping ability.

He finished Monday night’s game with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Oklahoma City has 26 games left, with a winnable matchup against Toronto Raptors are Wednesday night.

Addam M. Francisco

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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