Thunder Starters Will See Extended Minutes

By Randy Renner

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said before tonight's game the Thunder's regular starting unit will get more playing time tonight than in previous preseason games.

Coach Billy Donovan - Photo by Randy Renner

Coach Billy Donovan - Photo by Randy Renner

"I think it's importand to up their minutes," he told reporters. "They've pretty much just played in the first and third quarters so far but I think we'll give them minutes in all four quarters tonight."

Donovan will go with what most expect to be his starting lineup opening night against the Spur, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, Andre Roberson and Steven Adams.

Enes Kanter, who had been listed as out in the pregame notes, will play tonight after missing the last few days of practice with a sprained ankle he suffered Tuesday night against Dallas.

New Nuggets coach Michael Malon said he was happy to see longtime pal Billy Donovan get an opportunity in the NBA. "I've known Billy a long time, since we were kids, so I'm very happy for him."

Malone has been happy with the progress of two of his young players, center Joffrey Lauvergne from France and forward Nikola Jokic from Serbia.

"Lauvergne has played very well for us and Jokic has probably surpassed our expectations, he could end up being a special player."

Coach Michael Malone - Photo by Randy Renner

Coach Michael Malone - Photo by Randy Renner

Lauvergne leads the Nuggets in scoring and rebounding this preseason averaging 14.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. Jokic is averaging 12 points and 4.8 rebounds and then there is rookie point guard Emmanuel Mudiay.

"Some night's he'll be the best player on the floor and other nights he plays like a rookie."

Remember there is no TV for tonight's game but the Thunder will video stream the game on their website with Matt Pinto's radio call.

As usual we'll have complete postgame coverage including reaction from Coach Donovan and from inside the Thunder lockerroom.

Randy RennerComment