Surgery was July 3 and he wasn’t expected to be healthy enough to start playing until early December. It will be a full year before Watson regains full range of motion in the thumb.
"It’s just something I have to play through. I have to make it work,” said Watson, shooting 33.7 percent from the field. "It’s a challenge for me, but in a weird way, I like the challenge.”
Watson isn’t alone in his challenge.
"We’re really struggling offensively,” Carlesimo said. "Some guys I know are better than what they’ve shown so far. I’m confident that’s going to change.”
It had better change, or matching last year’s 20-62 mark seems lofty.
In some ways, the Thunder is still the Sonics, and Carlesimo knows this.
The best way to show improvement is to win.
"It certainly doesn’t mean anything to our (Oklahoma City) fans,” Carlesimo said. "What do they care if we’re better than last year?”
At this point last season, the Sonics won two straight on the road to get to 2-8.
The Thunder plays at New York and at Philadelphia on Friday and Saturday.
Lose those two and the Thunder is worse off than a year ago in the standings.
"The players who were here last year hopefully realize we’re getting better,” Carlesimo said. "It’s still so early. It’s like a snapshot to really compare the two seasons.”
Please, someone throw away the snapshots from Wednesday night.
475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 9-11 a.m. on New JOX 930 (AM).