The Thunder took today off for some much needed rest and relaxation to a banged up bunch. The boys will get back at it Monday with an open practice at the Ford Center. I’ll have a full note on the details of the practice in Monday’s paper but here’s the plan…..
The session will start at 6 p.m. and doors open at 5:30. Free tickets for the practice will be distributed at the doors of the Ford Center. Seating is general admission. The Thunder Girls will be on hand and activities will be available throughout the concourse.
Coach P.J. Carlesimo said the team will begin stretching at 6 p.m. before going into drills and other routine practice exercises over the next 45 minutes. The Thunder will scrimmage from 7 to 8, playing either two 10-minute quarters or two 12-minute quarters. Carlesimo estimated the session will draw more than 15,000 fans.
“The purpose behind an open practice is for other people to be able to come in and see the practice,” said Carlesimo. ”In this case, for a lot of people who may not be able to get to a lot of games or any games it’s a chance for them to see the team.”
Said Kevin Durant: ”It’s fun for the fans to get to see the team up close and personal as far as a practice setting. But it’s also going to be fun for us to see the fans and interact with the fans as well.”
In other news, be sure to check out Mike Baldwin’s piece from today about Jeff Green. Baldwin also lays out how favorable the Thunder’s early schedule is, noting that 25 of the first 51 games are against non-playoff teams from last season. (That’s part of the reason I think this team can eclipse 32 wins. Getting off to a good start and building confidence will be big.) Also, in Monday’s paper I’m writing about the two words you should know that will help this team win more.
Also, updating a previous observation made in this space, Mo Sene is apparently a much better athlete than I noticed in the other day’s practice. Carlesimo essentially told the media we haven’t seen anything yet.
“Mo runs like a deer,” Carlesimo said. “He’s not even running remotely like he’s capable of. He’s extremely quick. For a big he’s off the charts quick.”
I asked P.J. about how close he is to settling on a rotation for the final two preseason games and the start of the regular season. His response: “I’m not even thinking about it…Right now it’s hard to get 10 guys healthy and playing against each other to where you can really start saying, ‘OK, we like this combination better than that combination.’ So I’m honestly not even thinking about rotations.”
Carlesimo said health likely will dictate who plays the final two preseason games and even the first three games against Milwaukee, Houston and Minnesota.
I’m off to watch the Vikings-Bears. Go Vikes!