Chris Wilcox (sprained knee) practiced on Tuesday and will return tonight after missing the last five games. It presents a problem for coach P.J. Carlesimo, who has five "bigs” at center and power forward (Nick Collison, Joe Smith, Robert Swift, Johan Petro and Wilcox).
"I don’t know what we’ll do,” Carlesimo said. "We probably have to take someone out (of the rotation) or play a bunch in the first half then settle on something. Five is too many to play. Four is really too many. ... We don’t like to play Joe big minutes but he’ll get 20 minutes. We need to look at Weezy for sure. He looked good today.”
The Thunder has scheduled several holiday assist programs that will reach thousands of Oklahoma families the next month. The first event is Thursday, sponsored by Homeland Stores. Several players will help serve 300 turkey dinners at Presbyterian Urban Mission.
On Friday, team staff members will collect canned goods outside the Ford Center before the Hornets game to benefit the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Fans who donate will receive a voucher for two tickets to an upcoming Thunder game, courtesy of Cox Oklahoma.
Next week, Thunder players and coaches will provide Thanksgiving dinner at Tinker Air Force Base to approximately 250 families who have a parent deployed in the Middle East. The Thunder Girls also will appear at Penn Square Mall on Monday to kick off the Salvation Army "Angel Tree” project.
Scouting the Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers are 1-9, but they have some talent. Chris Kaman and Marcus Camby are a strong 1-2 punch inside. Both are always among the blocked shot leaders. Baron Davis and Cuttino Mobley are a strong perimeter combination.
"They’re still putting it together, but they can be a very good team,” Carlesimo said. "Right now they’re not hitting on all cylinders, but it’s a talented team.”
Because of a hectic schedule, the Thunder practiced for the first time in a week on Tuesday. Calling it a good practice, Carlesimo said they worked on specific areas, although the practice went a little longer (1 hour, 30 minutes) than he planned... Jeff Green is averaging 19.6 points the last four games, including hitting 8 of 18 3-pointers... Rookie Russell Westbrook will play some shooting guard with Desmond Mason (sprained elbow) sidelined at least two weeks... Carlesimo said Damien Wilkins should start to play better now that he’s in the rotation after seeing limited playing time the first seven games.
By Mike Baldwin