Darius Bazley to be Re-Evaluated in Four to Six Weeks
Foward Darius Bazley has a right knee bone bruise and will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks. Bazley suffered his injury in the first quarter of Oklahoma City's loss to Boston. Bazley's injury gave Hamidou Diallo a chance to play for the first time in two games.
Diallo logged 12:30 of floor time; we could see Mike Muscala's minutes increase at his more natural position of power forward. If Billy Donovan wanted to go small, Terrance Ferguson and Lou Dort split time at three, while the newly acquired Isiah Roby played four.
It's doubtful Roby will see much time if any considering Donovan would prefer only to play nine in his rotation, but with how versatile the Thunder's roster is, Donovan could put any number of combinations on the floor depending on the night's opponent.
It isn't a stretch to say that after Sunday's 112-111 loss to the Celtics, the Thunder clubhouse was the most depressed; it's been all season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander sat in a chair by his locker, speaking about how Marcus Smart had picked his pocket with 5.8 seconds left driving the nail in Oklahoma City's coffin. "I was just trying to make a play, and he made a better defensive play."..." I learn from every opportunity, especially every failure."
The real failure was the Thunder not sending a message to the upper echelon of the association. If you consider "upper echelon," the top four teams in each conference Oklahoma City is just 3-8 against those clubs.
All is not lost; however, the Clippers, Bucks, Nuggets, Lakers, Jazz, and Celtics are all on the schedule after the All-Star break. The two games against Utah can prove to be extremely important.
As it stands now, the Thunder is two and a half games behind the Jazz for 4th in the western conference. Even if Oklahoma City doesn't pass Utah in the standings, they could still see them in the first-round of the playoffs.
Of course, having a winning record over an opponent you're going to see for at least four games means nothing. As you recall, the Thunder swept Portland in the regular season only to get bounced in the first round of the postseason four games to one.
Chris Paul has a chance to complete one of the best comeback seasons in association history. Ok, that might be a tad hyperbolic, but Paul is one of 44 finalists for a spot on the US Men's Olympic team. Paul is already an All-Star for the 10th time in his career and could be competing in his third Olympic Games. At 34, Paul is proving that age is a mindset, not the number of years on your body.
Thunder host the Spurs on Tuesday. Tipoff is at 7 pm on Fox Sports Oklahoma.