Oklahoma City Thunder: What to watch for in the Thunder's preseason game against Philadelphia

Here are five things to watch in the Thunder's second preseason game Tuesday against Philadelphia (2 p.m. on NBA TV).
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 6, 2013
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Here are five things to watch in the Thunder's second preseason game Tuesday against Philadelphia (2 p.m. on NBA TV).

New developments: How will the Thunder continue to adjust to life without Russell Westbrook? In the exhibition opener, we saw a few new wrinkles, including an early halfcourt set that popped Serge Ibaka free for a 17-footer and a gorgeous sideline out of bounds play that left Kendrick Perkins wide open for a layup. The Thunder's early season success could be determined by how much the team is able to adjust and how quickly the Thunder will be able to adapt.

A strong start: In the opener, the starting five got off to a frustratingly slow start, staring at a 28-20 deficit to Turkish club Fenerbahce Ulker after the opening period. The Thunder appeared to lack rhythm and chemistry. It's an area the Thunder has got to figure out and quickly. The injury to Westbrook has left very little on the bench to bail out the starting five should the first unit have any slow starts.

Battle of the big men: Perkins dislocated his left ring finger in the opener, which forced him to leave the game just before halftime. His status is unclear for Tuesday. Rookie Steven Adams started the second half in place of Perkins and played relatively well. Hasheem Thabeet was the first true center off the bench, however, and Daniel Orton did not play. How will Thunder coach Scott Brooks manage the big man rotation this time?


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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