The Oklahoma City Thunder are set for their preseason finale against the Chicago Bulls on Friday, December 18th with tipoff slated for 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Oklahoma as well as heard on WWLS 98.1 FM in Oklahoma City. You can also check back for the BTB recap!
The big takeaway coming out of Wednesday’s preseason game is of course that the 2011 team can pop champaign bottles together and celebrate the fact that they remain the only team in franchise history to have an undefeated preseason.
Beyond that, the big conversation around this team saw ups and downs. In the first quarter, the only conversation you heard via Twitter was simple. “Is this team too good to tank?!” By the second half, it turned into tank supporters tanking a victory lap. Both of these stances are overreactions.
Is this OKC Thunder team “Too good to tank”? No. This will still be a common narrative, though. The issue with the Thunder’s “Tank” is that this team is still competitive. When they are playing their normal starters/rotation, the Thunder will be a fun team to watch and one that remains competitive in most games. This is not the process 76ers by any means. That competitiveness will trip a lot of people up throughout this season. With that being said, obviously, I do not think they are as bad as they showed in the second half of Wednesday’s game.
So what should you watch for in this final preseason game?
Obviously, the roster bubble is the most important aspect of all of this as the roster has to be finalized by Monday with many expecting cut downs to happen on Saturday. The OKC Thunder still need to move on from three players currently on the roster. Check out my roster projection to see who I have surviving the weekend.
Names to watch on the bubble (Depending on who is available check on Twitter at roughly 5:15 central): Isaiah Roby, Admiral Schofield, Kenrich Williams, and Darius Miller.
Also, be sure to keep an eye on Ty Jerome and Josh Hall. Can they make their Thunder debuts tonight? Jerome presents an interesting project, being the lone player remaining in Bricktown from the CP3 trade, how does he look alongside Shai? For Josh Hall, he might be one of the more interesting storylines on this team. The former-5-star recruit that elected to skip college has all the tools to be a legitimate NBA player. Could the Thunder be looking at another Two-Way contract success story?
One of the biggest unknowns is Mark Daigneault’s preseason finale rotation. The Thunder do not play again until December 23rd in Houston, so that could leave Daigneault with the chance to play veterans into the second half. However, on Wednesday, he did not play any starter in the second half. Monitoring how he utilizes the final preseason tune-up will be interesting.
Check out the Locked on Thunder Podcast wherever you get your podcasts for more things to watch for in today’s contest! Locked on Thunder is the only Daily podcast about the Oklahoma City Thunder!