Before Tuesday night's game, Thunder coach Scott Brooks told media members that, while most of his rotation is set, there are still minutes at backup center up for grabs.
And with that, he set the stage for a pretty important showcase for both Hasheem Thabeet and rookie Steven Adams, who are the contestants in that position battle.
With Kendrick Perkins still feeling the effects of a dislocated left ring finger, Thabeet got the starting nod in OKC's 109-81 win over the Nuggets at Chesapeake Energy Arena, putting up four points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.
Adams put up similar minutes off the bench, going for five points and six rebounds in 18 minutes.
Both have had their moments in the preseason, but neither has taken a stranglehold on the job. So expect the competition to continue moving forward.
KEVIN DURANT'S FIANCÉ ATTENDS THE GAME
Fresh off her first WNBA title, Monica Wright, Kevin Durant's fiancé, was courtside on Tuesday night for the Denver game, seated next to Durant's mother.
With her season over, it's fair to assume that Wright will be somewhat of a regular this season.
“She's my future wife and she's got more championships than I do,” Durant joked recently.
PERKINS FINDS A WAY TO CONTRIBUTE … SORT OF
Even while sitting on the bench with a lingering finger issue, Perkins found a way to impact the game with his signature scowl.
Late in the fourth quarter, after a questionable no-call near the Thunder bench, Perkins barked at an official, earning himself a preseason technical, his only stat in the past two games.
NATE ROBINSON EJECTED
Early in the fourth quarter, after a Thunder made shot, Nuggets guard Nate Robinson and Adams got tangled up under the basket, and Robinson took a quick swing, hitting Adams in the chest, leading to Robinson's ejection.
Both Adams and Robinson quickly returned to their respective benches, and tempers didn't flare from there.
But it was the second strange incident involving OKC's center on Tuesday night.
Earlier in the game, as the Thunder was transitioning to the offensive end, Adams abruptly stopped, and a trailing JaVale McGee, unable to stop his momentum, jumped on Adams for an inadvertent two-second piggyback ride.
STAT OF THE PRESEASON
Durant is 8-of-19 from 3-point range in the preseason (42 percent). Everyone else on the Thunder roster is a combined 5-of-41 (12 percent).
STRANGEST STAT OF THE GAME
Serge Ibaka dished out a team-leading five assists on Tuesday, which would have been a career-high had this been the regular season.