Preseason Game #1: Oklahoma City Thunder at Fenerbahçe Ülker
Where: Fenerbahçe Ülker Sports Arena
When: 8:00 AM
TV: NBA TV (Cox HD 726, DirecTV 216, Dish 156, AT&T U-Verse HD 1632)
Online Stream: Here.
Radio: WWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: None.
|PG:||Reggie Jackson||Bo McCalebb|
|SG:||Thabo Sefolosha||Bojan Bogdanovic|
|SF:||Kevin Durant||Linas Kleiza|
|PF:||Serge Ibaka||Nemanja Bjelica|
|C:||Kendrick Perkins||Luka Zoric|
Welcome to basketball! This is really happening. Your Oklahoma City Thunder are taking their talents, and problems, to Istanbul, Turkey to take on Fenerbahce, a Euroleague team based out of Turkey. They’re in the midst of their schedule, as Oklahoma City will be debuting for their first game of the preseason.
For Fenerbahce, they’re actually coming off a 56-49 loss to Besiktas, the team that Allen Iverson plays for, in which Bo McCalebb was their leading scorer with just eight points. In their defense, their two best players did not play in this game, due to recovering from the Eurobasket tournament that just finished a few days before this game.
However, they’re still a solid team for the Thunder to go against in this NBA Europe Live trip. Fenerbahce actually won their only meeting against an NBA opponent, they took down the Boston Celtics last season 97-91. So, don’t think that Oklahoma City is going to come in here and roll up this opponent.
As we mentioned earlier, Fenerbahce lost their last game without their two best players, Bojan Bogdanovic and Linas Kleiza. Bojan and Kleiza were actually picked as two of the top players during EuroBasket. The other three players selected in the top five selection play in the NBA. That’s gotta say something. You might recognize Kleiza for sure. He was a first round draft pick by the Toronto Raptors, but Toronto used their amnesty clause to release Kleiza after a bunch of injuries hindered his ability.
Then you come to Bo McCalebb, one of the most underrated players in all of Europe. Last year versus the Celtics, he was 9-of-14 shooting for 21 points in the 97-91 victory. He’ll create a lot of his own shots, and not really a distributor of the basketball. So, don’t expect him to come out and wheeling and dealing the basketball.
Overall, they’re a lottery team in the NBA. They’re underdeveloped at spots, and had they improved, maybe an eight seen in the East. They’re not really a solid team. However, like most professional basketball teams playing at the top level, they could give you a run if you aren’t on your top game.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have one injury, Russell Westbrook. He’s out for 4-6 weeks with his knee still. Sad days.
There is no injury information for Fenerbahce.
What to watch for
First off, don’t fully judge Lamb by his ability in this game. He’ll be the main guy off the ball for a lot of the game. The starters won’t see too much action. They’re always eased into the game motion. That being said. We’re about to see what Lamb brings to the table, and if he’s not careful, all of the social medias will be over reacting if he has a bad game.
Last season, the Thunder bench was one of the worse in the league. That’s something that will have to be much improved, especially if Lamb and Jackson are expected to be big contributors to the rotation this season. We didn’t see any improvement against the Grizzlies in the playoffs. So, we’re going to see if there was any improvement in the off season.
I’m just very excited to see this man shoot a basketball again. He’s one of the league’s best players and I’m giddy with excitement. Oklahoma City loves this guy, and he truly loves this city. This is a long time coming.