The Thunder will be without two of its defensive cornerstones for the foreseeable future.
Not long after it was announced that Kendrick Perkins would miss up to six weeks with a strained groin, the Thunder were hit with more injury news. Starting shooting guard Thabo Sefolosha will be out for a similar timeframe after straining his left calf against Cleveland on Friday.
“He may come back a little sooner than this, he may come back a little later,” Thunder general Sam Presti said. “But we’re gonna (say) 4-6 weeks.”
This leaves the Thunder without two starters for nearly the rest of the regular season.
“It’s unfortunate for us to have Thabo out,” Kevin Durant said. “He was playing so well, defending at a high level … It’s a blow to us that he’s gone, but we’re going to hold it down.”
Perry Jones will start in Sefolosha’s place on Sunday night. Scott Brooks said, moving forward, the starting two-guard slot will remain a fluid position.
“As we have during the other situations we’ve had this season, I’m anxious to see what we do with that,” Presti said. “I’m anxious to see how we delve into it … I’m really confident we have guys in place to take advantage of that.”
BUTLER SCHEDULED TO JOIN THE THUNDER ON MONDAY
Although the acquisition was made before Sefolosha’s injury news, the Thunder’s signing of Caron Butler now gains added importance.
“I think Caron’s signing is definitely at the right time,” Durant said. “A veteran guy that plays with a lot of toughness, that can shoot the basketball extremely well.”
Butler was originally scheduled to join the team on Sunday but, because of weather delays, likely won’t join his new teammates until Monday’s practice.
Brooks was noncommittal on whether Butler would play in the Thunder’s game against Philadelphia on Tuesday.
“I haven’t met him yet,” Brooks said. “I’d like to get to know him before I make a commitment.”
DURANT MAKES CBB TREK
Durant spent his most recent off-day the way he spends many of his work days — filled with basketball.
His Saturday started in Norman, taking in the Red River hoops game between the Sooners and his alma mater.
“I was definitely looking forward to that,” Durant said. “Just going to see my coaches and some of the young guys I got to know over at Texas was good. I hadn’t seen them play in a while.”
Durant then shot up to Stillwater for the OSU-Kansas game, taking in the Cowboys’ win.
“Going there to see five first round picks play was nice,” Durant said. “To see OSU guys run on the floor was something I’ve never seen. A good day for me, full of basketball and that’s how I love it.”
The Thunder closes out this six-game homestand with Philadelphia on Tuesday night. Entering Sunday, the Sixers had lost 13 in a row.