OKC Thunder notebook: Two exhibition games down, five to go

OKC's 0-2 start does not reveal anything about what's in store this season.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 14, 2012
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photo - OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER NBA BASKETBALL TEAM: Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (2) speaks during a press conference at the Integris Health Thunder Development Center in Oklahoma City,  Saturday, June 23, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER NBA BASKETBALL TEAM: Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha (2) speaks during a press conference at the Integris Health Thunder Development Center in Oklahoma City, Saturday, June 23, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

The Thunder is 0-2 after its first two dress rehearsals.

And while the record is indeed indicative of how the team has played this preseason, in no way does it reveal anything about what's in store in 2012-13.

In the exhibition opener against Houston, the Thunder was without three starters in Thabo Sefolosha (quad), Kendrick Perkins (wrist) and Serge Ibaka (quad). In game two at Utah on Friday, the Thunder was without Sefolosha, Perkins, Russell Westbrook (rest) and James Harden (groin).

In their absences, the Thunder struggled to defend with any consistency, giving up a truckload of points in transition and offensive rebounds, and was plagued by turnovers and bad shot selection.

But the ball movement was crisp at times, a few individual performances stood out and the team has remained largely competitive despite being down a few players and mixing and matching lineups.

“I thought we did some good things the first two games,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “There's no question we have our work cut out for us. But we've got plenty of time. It's not like we're 0-2 and the panic button is being pushed.”

ROTATIONS STILL NOT REGULAR

Because of so many injuries, the Thunder has yet to trot out its starting lineup. OKC might not be able to at all this preseason with Perkins expected to be sidelined until the start of the regular season.

Brooks has used the unfortunate circumstances as a chance to tinker with more lineups than normal and analyze how players perform in different units.

“We've played a lot of different guys … but everybody had an opportunity to really see what they do for our team,” Brooks said.

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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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