Collison out? Krstic to start?
Thunder forward Nick Collison could miss tonight’s game against the Detroit Pistons because of a stomach virus.
Collison did not attend Friday morning’s shootaround because of the illness, and if he is unable to play tonight center Nenad Krstic will make his first start of the season.
“We’ll see how (Nick) feels later on this afternoon,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “It’s a game-time decision. He could go. Hopefully he’s fine but you never know. That thing could linger on.”
Krstic, who joined the team last month after starting the season in Russia, is averaging 10 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in five games. He’s coming off his best performance Wednesday against Utah when he scored 14 points and 11 rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes.
“He’s going to help us in a lot of ways. He can start for us some games and he can come off the bench,” Brooks said. “He has a game that can really complement our other guys on the court and he can play against many different lineups. And he’s doing a good job defensively. So if Nick cannot go tonight, there’s a possibility that he can step right in and fill what we need.
“He knows he has a chance to play big minutes tonight depending on how Nick feels. But either way, I think we feel like we’re in a good place with our big guys.”
Forward Joe Smith will not play tonight, Brooks said, and he is still listed as day-to-day with a sore left knee. It will be the third straight game Smith has missed because of the injury.
Collison has started the past four games at center and was playing some of his best ball in January. He’s scored in double digits in three of his five games this month, including a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds against the Jazz. Collison scored a season-high 21 points with nine rebounds in a 109-98 overtime win against Chicago on Jan. 10.
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