Everything you need to know, good and bad from preseason game 1
By: Addam Francisco, Senior Writer.
The excitement was in the air for Oklahoma City's first preseason game. There may not be much to take from a game without Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Andre Roberson but there were a few things, good, bad and ugly that stuck out. Despite the 97-91 loss.
Starting with the good:
Everyone was excited to see Dennis Schröder in action as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, but surely they didn't expect 21 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds from the fifth-year point guard right out of the gate.
The connection between him and Steven Adams, who finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds was very strong. There was no sign of rust or uncertainty between the two and there's no doubt that Schröder will offer even more creativity from the point guard position. His passing ability is very impressive and will make for an intriguing dynamic once Westbrook returns.
Jerami Grant. After taking multiple strides last season en route to a lucrative new contract, he lacked that aggressive edge he usually plays with. To start the game, he missed three layups that last season, would've been ferocious slams. Maybe you can chalk that up to this being the first game of the preseason? Nevertheless, with the starting power forward spot up for grabs, it may behoove him to step it up through the rest of preseason and camp, or that starting spot will belong to Patrick Patterson.
Another player that has been disappointing since summer league is Terrance Ferguson and that held true against Detroit on Wednesday. Ferguson started in place of Roberson but through his first 25 minutes of play, he didn't have one shot attempt. Luckily, the two times he shot the ball, he was successful, ending the game with six points on 2-of-2 shooting.
...and just like last season, fouling was an issue. This is something the Thunder want to see change with the new NBA rule on fouls.
This was an ugly game and not because of low shooting percentages or entertainment level, but because of the technical fouls. It wasn't a good or bad thing. It was actually refreshing to see players going so hard for a pointless game.
With that being said, between both teams, there were five technical fouls. The first two were between elder statesman Raymond Felton and a 22-year-old Stanley Johnson. The third one came from Billy Donovan after complaining about the referees 'sh*t calls.' Lastly, a double technical was called after a verbal altercation between Ferguson and Andre Drummond.
Although this was the first preseason game, there were a lot of takeaways and previews of what to expect when the regular season commences. One thing that is obvious, is that Dennis Schröder feels comfortable on his new team and that the Thunder won't have a hard time implementing him into the offense. Everything else you can attribute to this being the first real 'game' of an 8-month season.