The Oklahoma City Thunder will finally wrap up this five-game road trip in Phoenix Suns. The Thunder will meet familiar faces in Chris Paul and Abdel Nader tonight. The Suns will be without star guard Devin Booker. Damien Jones and Dario Saric will also be sidelined tonight for the Valley boys. The OKC Thunder are starting to turn the corner, health-wise. Al Horford (Personal) has been upgraded to Questionable as has George Hill (Thumb).
The assumption is Al Horford has returned to the team following the birth of his child, a surprising development to me as I assumed he would remain in OKC until the team returned home at the end of the week. The reason for the questionable diagnosis to me is just the fact he needs to ensure he is in proper NBA condition before returning to the hardwood. However, we will get confirmation and updates from Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault around 6:30 CST, and this story will be updated with pregame quotes and information at that time. Also, be sure to follow along on Twitter.
Update: Al Horford is ACTIVE tonight.
Ty Jerome (Left Ankle) and Josh Hall (Health and Safety) remain out for the boys in blue.
Adding veterans George Hill and Al Horford back into the lineup could be huge for this Thunder team. The last time George Hill laced em up, he had the best game of his Oklahoma City career. For Al Horford, he would re-join the starting lineup pushing Isaiah Roby to the bench.
While this sounds like a gut-punch to those of us on Roby Island, alas it is not. Pushing Isaiah Roby’s production to the bench unit that is currently surging, could pay divides for offensive sustainability throughout this contest. It would likely move Roby back to a more natural position, playing the four next to Mike Muscala instead of being asked to be the man in the middle. It will be interesting to see how Mark Daigneault changes up his rotation as Hill and Horford return no matter if that is tonight, or not.
Lu Dort will not be tasked with defending one of the best scorers in the league, Devin Booker, but instead will at times be matched up with one of the craftiest players of all-time in Chris Paul. Watching the moments get shared between Dort, SGA, Bazley, and CP3 will make staying up for this game that much more enjoyable.
Speaking of Darius Bazley, everyone should be locked into him offensively tonight. After having an outburst on that end of the floor Monday, can Bazley build on that and break out of his early-season slump tonight? He was the most confident and comfortable we have seen this season on Monday, and it would be a welcomed sight to see that continue.
Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. Thunder time on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
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