Thunder Will Look More Like Themselves Tonight
By Randy Renner
As the pre-season schedule winds down with games tonight against Denver and Tuesday night at Utah the Thunder will look more like the team you're used to seeing.
The Big Three sat out of Friday's game at Memphis for a planned rest day but Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are all expected to be back in the lineup tonight against the Nuggets.
Head coach Billy Donovan will approach these next two games more like dress rehearsals for the regular season than ways to experiment with different lineups and true new things.
"Against Denver and Utah we can start to elevate their minutes," Donovan said of Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka. "We'll start to look at actual rotations instead of just getting guys in there when it comes to substitutions."
Thunder center Enes Kanter may be back in the lineup tonight after sitting out much of last week with a sprained ankle he suffered in Tuesday's game against Dallas. Forward Mitch McGary though is not expected to play after being diagnosed with a concussion after colliding with Memphis' Matt Barnes on Friday night.
Remember to arrive a bit earlier than usual for tonight's 6pm tipoff because of the new NBA-mandated security procedures at Chesapeake Energy Arena. All fans will have to pass through metal detectors and all bags are subject to (and likely will be) searched.