The Oklahoma City Thunder announced Thursday afternoon that starting power forward Danilo Gallinari will sit out again tonight with a sore left ankle, which means rookie Darius Bazley will likely get the start once again.
Bazley put up a solid performance in his start on Sunday, his second start of the season, against the Los Angeles Clippers. In 25 minutes, he recorded 7 points on 3-of-5 (60.0%) from the field, and he knocked down 1 of his 2 three-point attempts. He also pulled down 8 rebounds, handed out 2 assists, and gathered 3 steals.
Putting up those numbers against a tough opponent like the Clippers is impressive, and tonight’s matchup with the Grizzlies will offer a good chance for Bazley to fill up the stat sheet. He played just 11 minutes in the last matchup with Memphis 8 days ago, but he recorded 4 points and an incredible 4 blocks in his time.
Another young guy that will likely get some run tonight is rookie Kevin Hervey, a 6’9″ power forward who just signed a two-way contract with the Thunder a couple of weeks ago. Hervey is available for tonight’s game, and he has a good chance to make his NBA debut after playing 6 games with the Blue, where he has found plenty of success averaging 15.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game.
Hervey isn’t the tallest guy for the power forward position, but he’s tough and strong, which makes up for what he lacks in size. If he gets into the game, look for the young fella to make an impact by being a “trash player” where he picks up the trash that other people leave behind and turns it into solid contributions for his team.
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