Thunder Enjoys Off Day, Griffin Enjoys Dazzling Debut
LAS VEGAS — The Thunder was not one of the 12 teams in action Monday in the NBA Summer League. Oklahoma City got a much needed day off after playing five games in seven days dating back to last Monday’s opening day of the Orlando Pro Summer league.
The Thunder did go through a practice at a local high school in preparation for Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers at 7:30 p.m. Central Time. As for the game, Oklahoma City is simply looking for continued development out of the roster, individually and collectively, and for players to continue focusing on playing as a team.
It should be an interesting match up from the standpoint that the Lakers have a vagabond bunch with the two most familiar names being Adam Morrison and former OSU forward David Monds. Former Arizona standout Mustafa Shakur once was a big name, and some of you might remember Michigan State product Alan Anderson from his successful college days with the Spartans. But the Lakers roster is awfully sketchy after that, so the fact that L.A. has only one NBA player on its summer league roster should bode well for the Thunder executing its game plan. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, former Oklahoma star Blake Griffin torched that Lakers squad in his debut Monday night. A buzz began building in Cox Pavilion for Griffin’s debut about 30 minutes prior to the Los Angeles Clippers tip-off. Before the final horn even sounded on Phoenix and Dallas’ game, media and league personnel began making their way across the hall to the Thomas & Mack Center to get a good seat. And Griffin didn’t disappoint, scoring 27 points with 12 rebounds in 30 minutes.
The game was by far the highlight of the evening, and Griffin (even against inferior talent) continued to show he was a worthy No. 1 overall pick and has the tools to blossom into a special talent. What I found most interesting is that Griffin hardly hinted, verbally or non-verbally, that he was pleased with his individual performance. He gave himself a B- when asked to grade his debut, he rarely smiled, perhaps signaling he was in no way satisfied with his latest double-double and he appeared simply relieved when it was all over.
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