The Thunder will likely be shorthanded for the foreseeable future, as they are dealing with a variety of concerns; George Hill is out at least four weeks after undergoing surgery on a broken thumb. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is out for an indefinite amount of time, as the team is being cautious with his knee sprain, an injury he suffered against the Rockets in game one of their two-game set. Lu Dort was injured Wednesday evening against the Rockets, with what the team is currently calling a knee injury. His timetable to return is unknown at this point. On top of the injuries, the Thunder had just sent four players to the G League Bubble, which further condenses the roster.
In the two-game set against the Rockets, OKC continued their trend of losing the first game against an opponent, then strongly rebounding in the second game. This improvement for 2nd games is a very positive trend that speaks to the character of the team, and the coaching of Mark Daigneault. While these are clearly not the Playoffs, these mini-sets allow a young team to hone in on matchups, schematics, and fundamentals. With OKC having another min-set this week against the Timberwolves, look for OKC to continue building chemistry and team identity.
Upcoming Road Trip
After the two-game set against the Timberwolves, OKC will hit the road for their next three games. These games will be against stiff competition and should prove as barometers for their season. A two-game set against the Lakers in Los Angeles, followed by a matchup against the Denver Nuggets, is a rough three-game stretch. These games will allow the Thunder to demonstrate what they’ve learned from their previous matchups against these teams, and hopefully continue their trend of fairing better in rematches.