Looking past preseason scores
In sports, so much rests on the final score.
Because teams are judged by wins and losses, that final verdict often is all that matters.
But in preseason one must look past final scores. The Thunder has started 0-2 but there is reason for optimism. Having covered the Dallas Cowboys for seven seasons a decade ago, the final score at halftime of preseason NFL games was more important than the final score.
The reason? In most games, starters played the first half, sometimes only one quarter, and then turned it over to backups and free agents trying to make the team. The NBA preseason provides more playing time for star players but often times it’s down-the-roster players or free agents that will be cut that are on the court in the fourth quarter.
In the preseason opener, Oklahoma City’s top eight players essentially outscored Memphis’ top players by around 10 points, only to have backups fail to hold the lead. Saturday at New Orleans, it was somewhat of a similar story, although the Hornets reinserted star point guard Chris Paul in the final minutes to pull out a win.
If you look past the 0-2 record, you would notice some very positive signs:
1-Russell Westbrook has played very well in both games (18 assists, 3 turnovers)
2-Nenad Krstic has scored 24 points in only 36 minutes
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