The Thunder can’t catch a break.
Nick Collison went down today with a sprained right ankle. He already was battling what team officials called left ankle soreness. Collison, who remained in the locker room while the team concluded practice and wasn’t available to the media, is listed as day-to-day.
Joe Smith rejoined the team Friday after undergoing surgery to repair his fractured nose but didn’t take part in full-contact practice. He will receive his protective facemask next week and is scheduled to wear the gear for four to six weeks.
Jeff Green looked good today while practicing on a recently sprained left ankle that kept him out of Monday and Tuesday’s games. I expect him to continue practicing and to play Oct. 23 against Phoenix.
Robert Swift practiced for the second straight day but sat out the final segment because of soreness in his healing fractured hand.
Mo Sene looked good running the floor today. Sene isn’t expected to return to game action for quite some time but it’ll be interesting to see how he looks. I’ve honestly never seen him play before but I was shocked to see a man that big run that well, especially after microfracture surgery in April.
Nothing else major to report. This team needs to get healthy so it doesn’t have to limp into the regular season. It’s also important for the squad to heal up before the final two preseason games so coach P.J. Carlesimo can trot out the real rotation and give it a chance to jell.
Here’s my story today on Russell Westbrook learning on the job. Mike Baldwin is writing about Damien Wilkins for Saturday’s paper.
I haven’t had much time to dedicate to this space over the past few days while trying to complete my assignments for our special section to preview the NBA season, which will come out Sunday, Oct. 26. I turned in my final copy today so I’ll be posting more regularly now than I have the last few days. We’ll have a prediction grid in the special section and one of the categories is the Thunder’s record. I’m not a pessimist but I’m also not always a glass-half-full guy. But I’ll probably have a higher prediction on this team’s win total than anyone in America. Hint, hint: if the over/under on wins is 32 I’m taking the over.
Be sure to check out Kevin Durant on ESPN on Sunday as he joined Chris Paul, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Rudy Gay in Paul’s PBA Celebrity Bowling Invitational. It airs at noon. Somebody will have to tell me how it goes. I’ll be busy watching my Vikings hopefully destroy the Bears.