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Oklahoma City Thunder

Preseason Game #1 Preview | Dallas Mavericks

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Tip-Off: 7 PM CDT

Location: BOK Center (Tulsa, Oklahoma)

Television: ESPN

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

The Oklahoma City Thunder kickoff the preseason tonight in Tulsa as they host the Dallas Mavericks. Consider it fitting that the two regional rivals play each other the week of the Red River Rivalry in college football.

The two franchises have their history, meeting in the playoffs multiple times earlier in the decade, but now they both seem to be in different phases of youthful rebuilds. The Thunder is fresh off the departures of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Jerami Grant, while the Mavericks have bid farewell to the now retired Dirk Nowitzki.

Don’t expect to takeaway too much from a single preseason game, but at the least, it will be nice to get a look at the new faces in Thunder uniforms and see if there’s any chemistry with the veterans.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Chris Paul
  • SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SF: Terrance Ferguson
  • PF: Danilo Gallinari
  • C: Steven Adams

Mavs

  • PGDelon Wright
  • SG: Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • SF: Justin Jackson
  • PF: Dorian Finney-Smith
  • C: Maxi Kleber

Injuries

Thunder

  • Andre Roberson (rest) is OUT.

Mavs

  • J.J. Barea (not with team) is OUT.
  • Luka Dončicć (rest) is OUT.
  • Kristaps Porzingis (rest) is OUT.
  • Dwight Powell (left hamstring strain) is OUT.

Key Matchup

**UPDATE** Luka Dončicć is out for tonight’s game (rest), so you can just ignore this section.

Terrance Ferguson v. Luka Dončić | Fresh off a historical rookie season which ended in a well-deserved Rookie of the Year Award, Luka Dončić has cemented himself as a major part of the young core of the Dallas Mavericks.

Last season, Dončić averaged 21.2 points on 42.7% from the field, 32.7% from three, and 71.3% from the free throw line. While his shooting percentages aren’t great, his overall game is fantastic.

On top of his scoring ability, Dončić is a quality passer and rebounder. He averaged 6.0 assists and 7.8 rebounds as a rookie.

Terrance Ferguson will likely draw the matchup with Dončić to start the game, and stepping up to defend an opponent’s best player is nothing new for the third-year forward. Ferguson is only 21 years old, but he already has 86 starts through his first two seasons in the NBA, and he’s established himself as a solid defender with a lot of potential

When it come down to it, this is just a preseason game, so the outcome isn’t really all that important, but watching these two talented young guys should be fun for both fanbases.

Game Notes

Be sure to follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook, and don’t forget to check out our latest episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

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