Oklahoma City Thunder (0-0) at Dallas Mavericks (0-0)
It’s so great to finally say that. As it just being a preseason game. We’re going to break down the keys to the game. Probably will be really simple. A win in preseason is nothing special. It’s a lot of fun, however, not the post important thing tonight. Especially with how crazy the Dallas roster is looking, it’ll be really interesting to see how things go.
Coach Scottie Brooks has already said no one will see more than 24 minutes tonight and we can expect to see 10-11 players. However, don’t expect to see rookie Reggie Jackson. He’s coming off an injury and really hasn’t had a chance to get into the offense. I’d be shocked if he saw him out there at this point. Best time to see him on the court would be Tuesday in Oklahoma City.
Now for the keys to the game:
Offensive efficiency: Thunder really struggled with this late in the game. In the scrimmage Friday night, they addressed this. Thunder were passing the ball a lot more. Growing in their offense in such a short time. It was very pleasant to see. How will this translate onto the court during the game? That remains to be seen. I don’t really care to (yeah I do, it’s always great) Kevin Durant score 50 points in a preseason game. I want to see us passing the ball. Getting assists and being able to break through when last season we couldn’t. I love Westbrook and last season his assists jumped way up to a little over eight assists per game. I expect an increase this season as well. Look for him to pass a little more. Some of his haters my shut up.
Interior Defense: Last time out against Dallas, Dirk Nowtizki and Tyson Chandler just dominated the inside. However, it’s a little different. Kendrick Perkins has turned into a skinny hulk and Chandler’s no longer in big D. We’re going to see how much Ibaka’s defense has improved and we’ll see exactly how much the loss weight actually help Perkins.
Westbrook’s jumper: At times Westbrook would go 5 or 6 shots without hitting anything. Very frustrating for fans and probably coaches as well. He worked out with the same trainer that Derrick Rose works out in the summers. I did not see much improvement back in July at the charity event in Oklahoma City. However, that was just me. I saw Westbrook shoot ill-advised three point shots, missing easy pull up jumpers. I am not sure if this was before or after he started working out with the trainer. We will see though.
I’d love for the Thunder to come out, lay it on the Mavs, knowing they have a few personel changes, and they aren’t themselves. However, should be a close game. This is turning into a nice little rivalry.
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