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Going Blue: Thunder D-League team Blue defeats Grand Rapids; Buycks, Zanna, Huestis contribute to win

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The Blue defeated the team from Grand Rapids; how did Josh Huestis and company perform?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

(WTLC's Joey Conger is scouting the Thunder's D-League team, the OKC Blue, in order to get a first person take on the Thunder's two D-League draft picks from last draft, Josh Huestis and Semaj Criston. Here is his recap from last night's game).

How many Thunder fans still wonder what happened to Hasheem Thabeet after he was traded away from the Thunder last season? Wonder no more.

Thabeet, now playing with the D-League team Grand Rapids Drive, was back in OKC last night as the Blue defeated the Drive, 109-99.

Here is our breakdown and grade of each Blue player, including rookie Josh Huestis (Semaj Criston sat out the game with injury).


Josh Huestis: B-

Final Stat Line:  6 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks

Huestis really struggled to find his shot in this one. While he only had 6 points on 3-10 shooting, including 0-6 from three, he did play excellent defense. There was a stretch in the middle of the second quarter where he had three blocks in a 5 possession span. All three were on driving layups. Huestis really knows how to use his length on defense to disrupt what his man is trying to do.

Dwight Buycks: A-

Final Stat Line: 22 points. 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals

Buycks, a former Raptors guard and a guy who has spent time with the Thunder during the Orlando Summer League, was very impressive in the fourth quarter. Buycks scored 13 points in the frame, including three 3 pointers, while helping the Blue pull away. The newest Blue player was one of the best players on the court and should get an NBA training camp invite this October.

Talib Zanna : A

Final Stat Line: 24 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals

Talib Zanna is a man. The 69 power forward was consistently beating a player half a foot taller than him for rebounds. Zanna also showed a pretty decent post game and an uncanny ability to get to the line. While the Thunder do not own his draft rights, I would expect another training camp invite, unless he’s snatched by another team first.

Notable Opposing Players

Hasheem Thabeet: It was great seeing Hash again. He looked good offensively and defensively in the game. His rebounding needs work but he has a nice jumper he’s been working on. Oh! Thabeet also got ejected following his second Flagrant 1 foul.

Daniel Orton: Recently in the news, the former Tulsa 66er was released and fined by the Philippines Basketball Association for comments made about Manny Paquiao. Orton didn’t do much in this game besides get a technical. Oh, and he looks like a fat Jeremy Lamb.

Nate Wolters: I like Wolters as a player. I was disappointed when the Bucks cut him earlier this year. He finished with 10-5-5 and looked solid. Nice to see him succeeding somewhere.