Thunder: Kendrick Perkins makes OKC a little less unique
The Thunder has been playing basketball in Oklahoma City with an unorthodox lineup. Its leading rebounder is its small forward. Its center likes to shoot 18-foot jumpers. Its power forward is a small forward. Its shooting guard doesn’t shoot.
The Thunder played small inside but big outside. It mixed and matched into all kind of wacky lineups that for the most part worked. The Thunder was a solid No. 4 team in the Western Conference.
That all changed with the Kendrick Perkins trade. The Thunder traded Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic to Boston for Perkins, and suddenly OKC looks a lot more traditional.
Big, imposing center in Perkins. Much more defense than offense in his presence, but imposing still the same. A prototype power forward in Serge Ibaka. Probably more minutes for James Harden at shooting guard, in place of Thabo Sefolosha. I love Thabo, but coach Scotty Brooks might decide he can’t start two defensive specialists.
Anyway, the Thunder is a lot more mainstream now than two days ago, even down to backup center, where Nzar Mohammed is a lot more traditional than Nick Collison, who for all intents and purposes has been the Thunder’s backup center. Collison will mostly back up Ibaka now.
“We’ve gotten more physical as a whole,” general manager Sam Presti said.
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