How Tuesday's debut showed promise for Thunder's future
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) —
"Being happy out there on the court again, being motivated, like it's back for me," proclaimed 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony following Tuesday night's preseason debut with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The newcomers are saying the "right" things. They're making the "right" plays. Well, some of them. But considering the biggest knock on having offensive superstars on the same roster is not passing enough, Tuesday's debut at the BOK Center was quite the opposite.
"When you have guys with the offensive ability of Carmelo and Paul George, there are times, no question, that they are over-passing,"said third year Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. "And I really appreciate that as a coach because they're trying to play the right way."
"I know there was one time where I had an open look but I gave it to Paul with :03 left, and he missed it," Anthony recalled. "I felt bad about that because I had 'feel.' But those are the things we'll get better at."
In other words, it's easier to be overly unselfish and then scale it back as opposed to being a ball-stopper now and trying to create chemistry later. "We're trying to figure this out on the fly," said fellow All-Star addition Paul George.
"Once Russ comes back, we'll start to trend towards how we're going to look and how we're going to play."
The league's reigning MVP, Russell Westbrook, hasn't even played yet outside of practice. And other returning Thunder teammates know how big it could be with those three superstars together.
"The attention Melo and Paul George drew was huge," said Thunder center Steven Adams. "So you throw Russ out there, it's going to be tough."
Oklahoma City Thunder's next preseason game is Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans at Chesapeake Energy Arena.