Thunder/76ers Live Blog And Pregame Notes
YouNader Out, Noel In
After suffering a concussion in the fourth quarter of Friday's scrimmage vs. Boston, Abdel, Nader, will sit out today's contest with the 76ers. Nader has been a valuable piece to the Thunder's success this season, stepping up when Darius Bazley was out for 11 games with a knee bone bruise, and coming off the bench while Terrance Ferguson was on a leave of absence.
Nader is 6 points, and 13 minutes per game, Billy Donovan Says, "I give Abdel a lot of credit, he was out of the rotation, Darius gets hurt, and he came in and was ready to play."
Nerlens Noel will see his first action since coming to Orlando today. Noel was suffering from a "tweaked ankle" and had been held out of some of the more physical parts of practice.
But he's been full-go for about a week now. Sitting Noel vs. the Celtics was more of a precaution than a need to worry.
Starters Getting More Minutes
After giving the starters the second half off in the Scrimmage against Boston, Donovan is expecting them to play into the third quarter vs. the 76ers. Donovan hopes his players are at a good point physically ("knock on wood") and will extend their minutes over these next to scrimmages.
Donovan has always been consistent in his message of players needing to keep themselves engaged and be ready to play at a moment's notice. Terrance Ferguson only logged seven minutes against the Celtics, but there is a good chance he can see more court time today.
Donovan doesn't know if Ferguson played enough minutes to warrant an evaluation, but he respects the fact Ferguson went out and did his job well. Donovan is also complimentary of his other bench players saying they are willing to sacrifice playing to do what is best for the team.
Nothing changes in the Thunder starting five. Gallinari, Adams, Dort, SGA, and Paul.
Early start not bothering Chris Paul, as he was able to drive through the lane for an easy two.
The pace of this game is a lot closer to what you will see in the regular season, as compared to Friday when the Celtics and Thunder seemed to be taking it easy in the first few minutes.
Thunder did an excellent job of attacking the paint early on, no Ebmiid, so you need to take advantage of that situation and make the 76ers stop you inside. All six of Oklahoma City's points have come in the paint.
Dort needs to be consistent when he gets those opportunities, Nice wide open three off the inbounds. He seems more relaxed when taking that shot than he did before the shutdown.
Dort with back to back threes, let's see what he does with the defense paying more attention to him.
Nice to see Diallo getting some run early in the game. Thunder needed that stop after the 76ers run, it's a scrimmage, but the turnovers (3) that are leading to fastbreak points (4) for Philly are going to be an issue when the season starts.
Thunder starting to tighten up on defense, forcing some turnovers themselves.
That is an excellent example of the 76ers size. Diallo usually doesn't get blocked when he goes up for a dunk.
End of First Quarter Thunder trail 31-26.
Noel seems to be moving fine despite the tweaked ankle.
Diallo is playing like a guy who deserves more minutes. Despite missing both those free throws, he's been active on defense, he's moving well, without the ball, and he's making hustle plays.
Thunder dominating the paint 16-6. But trail 41-30 with 6:53 left to go.
Remember when Al Horford was going to come to Oklahoma City, and join Keven Durant and Russell Westbrook? 4/5 from beyond the arch, with 12 points. #ThunderKiller
You really can't say enough about Philly pushing the tempo. Being blessed with length is one thing, but they use it to there advantage as well as anyone in the league. They get deflections, force you to go late into the shot clock, and do a heck of a job of using those reflections to start fastbreaks.
55-44 76ers at the half.
Starting five begins the third quarter.
Simmons on Paul is such a mismatch! Thought Paul did all he could to get the ball out of his hands, but nine out of ten times, you're not going to win that battle.
Thunder continues to miss open threes, SGA and Gallinari have had open looks this quarter with no luck. 76ers on a 10-0 run and lead 72-51.
The battle on the boards is closer than I thought, 39-35 in favor of Philly. Thunder with eight offensive rebounds, to 76ers six.
Maybe you're catching something I'm not, but I haven't noticed a dropoff in Dennis Schroder's play.
Seeing Thyebulle reminds me of how last Summer he was one of the guys the Thunder were supposedly interested in. You don't want to make too much out of one scrimmage, but that may be one that Sam Presti let getaway.
Roberson is going back in.
Bazley is helping the Thunder to an 8-0 run. Again a guy who benefited greatly from having an impromptu offseason.
Not many people get the best of Dennis Schroder, Thyebulle is doing a bang ou job of defending him today. WOW!
81-70 76ers at the end of the third
Dort getting a chance to show off his ball-handling skills with this group of players.
If you Don't like watching Darius Bazley play then you don't appreciate athletic basketball. He has been one of the few bright spots we'll discuss in the postgame.
Lead down to seven, Philly leads 90-83.
Mike Muscala auditioning for a spot in the Thunder's closing lineup. LOL!
Game tied at 95, the second unit is playing some clutch ball right now. Admittedly things are a little looser, but, if you're going to preach consistency and staying engaged, that's not something you can turn off and on.
Give these guys credit for taking the last few minutes of this game seriously.
Dre with a Clutch three! And Another!
New Thunder death lineup: Muscala, Dre, Bazley, Burton, Burton, and Devon Hall. LOL!
102-97 THUNDER WIN!