Hamidou Diallo is Back for Tonight's Game With the Lakers.
Hamidou Diallo will be back in the rotation tonight when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Los Angeles Lakers. Diallo has missed the last three games with a knee sprain and his return couldn't come at a better time. Diallo is averaging 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.45 steals in 22 minutes.
But, it's his defense that the Thunder are most excited about. Billy Donovan says that Diallo is one option to guard LeBron James. James went 25-10-11 against the Thunder on Wednesday, and if Oklahoma City wants to avoid a repeat performance they'll need every available body. Donovan says "Against LeBron or any great offensive player we're not just not going to have one guy try and be able to handle a guy by himself." "If LeBron's posting or driving you can't just leave Hammi out there whoever's guarding him out there and expect him to stop him (James)."
One player who was able to slow James down was Deonte Burton. In Burton's 11 minutes on Wednesday James went 1 for 5 with a turnover. When asked what made Burton so effective on James, Donovan responded "Deonte just plays hard. He's got a big strong body he's got a good center of gravity." Donovan also says that Burton did a good job of just keeping LeBron in front of him and not allowing him to turn a corner.
Steven Adams is good to go for tonight's contest. Adams is still showing some ill effects from a knee contusion suffered against Houston on October 28th. Adams is not on a minutes restriction, however, he and Nerlens Noel pretty much split time against the Lakers on Wednesday. Donovan was asked if Adams could get more minutes tonight and says it's a matter of how he's feeling. Thunder will be thin at center tonight with Nerlens Noel being a late scratch.
Tipoff is a 7 o'clock on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.