OKC Thunder: Five things you may have missed this preseason

Tuesday's preseason home opener may be the first opportunity for many fans to see the Thunder so far. Here are some things that have become top stories.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 14, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, and Kevin Durant wait before the start of an NBA preseason basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez) ORG XMIT: TXDL105
Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, and Kevin Durant wait before the start of an NBA preseason basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez) ORG XMIT: TXDL105

Funky lineups

After two games, we're not sure which players Thunder coach Scott Brooks is going to trot out. He's used two different starting lineups in the two games and more than 15 different units total. A part of the mix and match lineups is a result of injuries to Perkins, Thabo Sefolosha (quad) and James Harden (groin). But with the Thunder having four players who competed in the Olympics, Brooks also is resting many of his main guys. As a result, we've seen a lot of players like Lazar Hayward, Hasheem Thabeet, Hollis Thompson and DeAndre Liggins.

Russell Westbrook's post game

Against the Rockets, the Thunder made it a point to go to Russell Westbrook in the post early and often. And it was beautiful to watch. Westbrook has talked about playing in the post more this season, but it was his patience and poise down on the block that raised eyebrows. He never rushed, and he always had a plan. And by being bigger and stronger than Jeremy Lin, Westbrook was able to take advantage of the Rockets' prized free agent whenever he wanted. Expect that trend to continue all season.

The backup point guard play

Eric Maynor is back, and Reggie Jackson is better. Combined, they could develop into one of the best one-two punches in the league coming off the bench at the guard spot. Maynor missed so much of last year that you've probably forgotten how good he is. He's the definition of a true point guard. The game just comes naturally to him, and he makes everybody better. Jackson, meanwhile has matured a great deal since last year. He's more confident. He's more decisive. He's a better shooter, and he is initiating the offense better. Best of all, they're competing against each other for the primary backup spot behind Westbrook so they're going to push each other every chance they get. As that continues to unfold, everybody will win.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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