Paul, Ferguson, and Noel Out For Thunder's Scrimmage vs. Portland, Roberson to Start

Erik Gee

Chris Paul, Terrance Ferguson, and Nerlnes Noel are all out for the Thunder's final scrimmage before the NBA restart.  Paul is resting, Ferguson suffered a leg contusion vs. The 76ers and is sitting for precautionary measures, while Noel missed a required COVID-19 test. 

With Paul on the shelf, your starting lineup will be PG Shai Gilgeous-Alexander SG-Lu Dort SF, Andre Roberson, PF Danilo Gallinari, and C Steven Adams. Yes, you read that right Andre Roberson is back in the starting five for the first time in two and a half seasons. 

Billy Donovan says, Roberson has been getting his feet wet against the Celtics and 76ers reserves, but what made him a unique talent is his ability to guard upper echelon offensive players. "With Lillard (Damian), McCollum, and Carmelo (Anthony), you've got some really high-quality offensive players."

Donovan also feels that giving Roberson the chance to play against different combinations of those guys will be an excellent barometer to find out where he is at this point. 

Noel will be in quarantine for one day because of hiss missed test. Much like Kristaps Porzingis before him, this was a matter of merely forgetting. Donovan says that Noel was "extremely remorseful." "There are times I (Donovan have been in my room and been like oh my god, I forgot the test, and I got run down there and test." 

"These days kind of run together, so to speak your kind of doing the same thing every day, you've got your practices, and you're going to the meal room, and sometimes it can slip your mind."

Hopefully, with Noel (and every other player), this is a one-time event, however, with just a one-day quarantine, it's a good excuse for a day off. 

Nader Back

After suffering a concussion in the Thunder's win over Philadelphia, Abdel Nader is back. Nader passed the concussion protocol and will go vs. Portland. 

Thunder 11th in Sports Illustrated Power Rankings

Sports Illustrated has the Thunder in the middle of the pack at 11th in their latest power rankings. Oklahoma City is sandwiched between Dallas at 10 and Utah at 12.  

Sports Illustrated loves the return of Andre Roberson and says:

"Welcome back, Andre Roberson!"... "The Oklahoma City guard went over 900 days without playing in a live game due to a slate of leg injuries, but the 28-year-old hit the ground running on July 26 with a pair of late-game threes." 

"The Thunder aren't quite Finals contenders, though they're perhaps the feel-good story of 2019-20. Roberson's return only adds to Oklahoma City's magical year."

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With more than 20 years of experience hosting local and national radio shows, Erik Gee is a fixture of Oklahoma sports media. He has covered the Oklahoma City Thunder for the past six seasons. He is also the co-host of the Pat Jones show on 97.1 The Sports Animal in Tulsa.

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