A few quick thoughts on the Thunder’s 105-102 loss to the Pelicans on Thursday night.
- The story of the game for Oklahoma City’s sake was Steven Adams. He scored 10 points with a game-high 15 rebounds. He played a game-high 34 minutes and was as impressive as we’ve seen him.
- After the game, Scott Brooks credited Adams’ performance but seemed to focus more on how much more learning the rookie has left. “He had a great game,” Brooks said. “It’s going to be hard to duplicate 10 points, 15 rebounds. Those are All-Star numbers.”
- The last time a Thunder center had a double-double was Nov. 26, 2012. It was the only one last season.
- “He has to continue to understand all the details of the game, and that’s going to work itself out with all the work that he puts in with our staff,” Brooks said.
- Maybe Adams is narrowing the gap for minutes this season. Maybe I’ll be wrong about how many meaningful games he’ll see as a rookie. But the way Brooks spoke about Adams after the game confirmed my suspicions. He just doesn’t trust young players to do the little things consistently. One double-double is not going to change that.
- Hasheem Thabeet got the start in place of Kendrick Perkins, who missed his third straight game with a dislocated finger. Thabeet scored two points with three rebounds and five fouls in 14 minutes.
- Here’s what Perkins told me about Adams: “It’s gonna come. He’s a rookie. The biggest thing I try to teach him is that it’s all right to talk. You’re the last line of defense so even when you’re not in the play just talking is intimidating.”
- When asked if he was surprised by his stat line, Adams said he didn’t care about it. The team loss but took a step forward, he said. That was the biggest thing.
- Before anyone gets too crazy about Adams’ performance, you have to realize that it came against a terrible Pelicans frontline. Anthony Davis is legit, but everyone else (Greg Stiemsma and Arinze Onuaku) isn’t exactly top flight talent. Brooks and the players can’t say that out of respect to Adams’ performance and their opponents. But it’s important to take into account.
- Reggie Jackson got to be the man in crunch time. It didn’t go so well. But it was a good experience. He’ll learn from it.
- Jackson had an off night…and he still had 12 points and nine assists.
- The Thunder’s 3-point shooting showed up. Finally. The team started 9-for-12 and finished 12 of 23. Kevin Durant had only three of those 3s. Six different players made at least one 3.
- Jeremy Lamb even got on the board from beyond the arc, making two of his five attempts.
- Ryan Gomes saw his first action of the preseason and made all three of his 3-point tries. He finished with 11 points and got his hands on a few balls on drives.
- Nick Collison didn’t play.
- Russell Westbrook wasn’t here.
- Too many turnovers for the Thunder. OKC had 21 leading to 24 Pelicans points. Durant had six alone.
- Up next. Utah on Sunday.
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