And Boom Goes The Injury Dynamite
By Randy Renner
Just when the Thunder were getting healthier and fine tuning themselves for the start of the season another injury bomb goes off.
This time free agent sharpshooter Anthony Morrow is the victim with what has been diagnosed as a sprained MCL in his left knee. Morrow will be re-evaluated in a week and hopefully nothing more severe will be found.
Morrow hurt his knee in practice and his loss, added to Kevin Durant's absence because of his broken foot, could severely handicap the Thunder in the opening month of the season.
Morrow would have likely been one of the five starters to open the season either at shooting guard or Durant's spot at small forward.
Instead the Thunder will be without their top two 3-point shooters, Serge Ibaka has the next best long ball shooting numbers on the team.
The Thunder will open the season with just 11 healthy players, in addition to Durant and Morrow Mitch McGary and Grant Jerrett are also sidelined long-term. All four players now expected to miss at least the first month of the season and more likely on into December by a week or two.
What has happened injury-wise to this team during training camp is almost unbelievable. Russell Westbrook has been the only roster player who hasn't missed at least one practice and several players have had to miss multiple practices and preseason games.
We just thought last season was challenging dealing with the significant time missed by Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha. This season hasn't even started yet with real games and head coach Scott Brooks has already had to shuffle around his practices and game lineups.
The young guys, Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb in particular are going to have to step up like never before over these next few weeks, the Thunder will be counting on them to provide some sort of scoring threat.
The first 20 games the Thunder were hoping to keep their heads about the .500 mark and then begin to make up ground as players got healthy.
Now you have to wonder how in the world they'll be able to do that? 10-10 in the first 20 would be a blessing but injuries may have cursed the Thunder to a 5-15 start.