Deonte Burton Suspended, Terrance Ferguson out for Friday's Game vs. Timberwolves.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are suspending guard/forward Deonte Burton for tonight's game with the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to ESPN's Royce Young Burton was involved in a locker room altercation after Wednesday's loss to the Pacers.
The Thunder will also be without guard/forward Terrance Ferguson. Ferguson is suffering from right hip soreness. Head coach Billy Donovan says that Ferguson had a non-contact practice on Thursday. Burton's suspension and Ferguson's give Billy Donovan a chance to be creative with his rotations.
While Ferguson is still listed as the starting three this gives Donovan a chance to start Danilo Gallinari at his more natural position of small forward while putting rookie Darius Bazley at the power forward spot. If Donovan doesn't feel like Bazley can handle the role in the starting lineup just yet, you could start Abdel Nader who has given you some tremendous offensive output over the last few games at the three.
With Hamidou Diallo not scheduled to be re-evaluated for at least a month, the Thunder can also get a look at two-way player Luguentz Dort to see if he can bring you something more in the way of scoring that Burton does.
Speaking of Burton, altercations in the locker room are going to happen, but you wonder if losing so many close games is starting to get to this team. Billy Donovan says to this point every player is handling themselves in a professional manner and working to make the Thunder better. It's possible that this was a one-time ordeal that happened in the heat of the moment and shouldn't be overblown. Either way, it's worth keeping an eye on.
Thunder/Timberwolves tonight at 7 on Fox Sports Oklahoma.