The Oklahoma City Thunder opened the Chesapeake Arena this preseason with a 109-81 victory over the Denver Nuggets Tuesday.
Like typical preseason games, the starters played their 20 minutes and the reserves played more minutes than they will likely see during a regular season game.
However, even after a preseason romping in front of a sold-out crowd, there are still things to be taken away from the statistical side of the game. Let's take a look.
- Durant destroyed Anthony Randolph. I know, what a surprise. KD dropped 36 points on 13-20 shooting and pulled down six boards. He also dished out four assists before leaving after 23 minutes. Durant might have gone for 50 against Randolph during the regular season. Learn anything Brian Shaw?
- The Thunder owned Denver on the boards. Oklahoma City won the advantage 55-33 and grabbed 21 offensive rebounds. Serge Ibaka and rookie Steven Adams combined for 15, something to look forward to in the future Thunder fans.
- Adams chipped in with five points and six rebounds in just over 18 minutes. His +/- settled right at zero, but five of his six boards were offensive. Adams also fouled out, something he will likely do a lot in the near future. Rookie bigs usually find themselves in foul trouble quite a bit early in their careers.
- Andre Roberson grabbed nine rebounds in 17 minutes and is quickly developing a reputation as a glass-crasher. Roberson averaged over 11 rebounds per game in his final two seasons at Colorado University. He is showing signs of becoming an instrumental part of the bench this season.
- Jeremy Lamb didn't shoot well (again), but showed he can still do the little things (again). Lamb shot just 3-12 from the field, but came away with three steals, five rebounds, two assists and just one turnover. Obviously the Thunder need to rely on Lamb's shooting, but you can't help but love watching a second-year player, with little team-experience, do the little things.
- The Thunder continued to struggle from 3-point range. They shot just 5-17 from beyond the arc and it was actually 1-9 if you discount Durant's 4-8 performance. Thabo Sefolosha had the other make. The Thunder are looking to become a better all-around shooting team rather than relying on the 1-on-1 skills of Durant while Russell Westbrook is out. It's not looking great so far.
- DNPs: Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins, Danilo Galinari, Wilson Chandler. It's the preseason. Basketball is back, but not quite full-go. There are things to take out of the first preseason game, obviously, but there is also a reason the bench players got a good amount of burn.
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 36 points, 6 rebound, 4 assists
Thunder Down Under: Serge Ibaka, 13 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists
Thunder Blunder: Jeremy Lamb, 6 points (3-12),
Thunder Plunderer: Javale McGee, 9 points, 8 rebounds
Next game: vs New Orleans Pelicans on Friday October 17th at 7PM CDT