The Oklahoma City Thunder is gearing up for the new NBA season, but they are facing some early obstacles that could test their depth and adaptability.
One notable setback is the hamstring strain that has sidelined Jaylin Williams. Coach Mark Daigneault has confirmed that Jaylin will be out of action for at least a couple of weeks.
Mark Daigneault on how to fill in without Jaylin Williams or Kenrich Williams for now and praised Olivier Sarr saying they have confidence in him: pic.twitter.com/xXTSLD4Urv
— Rylan Stiles (@Rylan_Stiles) October 17, 2023
This is disappointing news for the Thunder as Jaylin Williams showcased his potential in the preseason.
In OKC’s third preseason game against the Charlotte Hornets, he put up an impressive stat line, scoring 18 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, dishing out 3 assists, and recording a block in just 23 minutes. The young talent was making a strong case for a significant role in the upcoming season.
Another challenge comes in the form of Kenrich Williams, who currently has no definitive timetable for his return. Unfortunately, it’s expected that he will miss the start of the season.
This absence poses a potential dilemma for the Thunder, particularly when it comes to executing their small ball-5 strategy. The team is hoping for Kenrich’s speedy recovery, especially for the season opener.
In the midst of these uncertainties, Cason Wallace is also dealing with a toe injury. Although he is listed as “day to day,” it’s yet another puzzle piece the Thunder must manage.
The Thunder is also monitoring the situation of Aleksej Pokusevski, who is recovering from an ankle sprain. He is scheduled to be reevaluated in 2-4 weeks.
Notably, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (JRE) has been traded, creating an opening in the Thunder’s roster.
With these developments, the Thunder is in a unique position, particularly when it comes to their backup big men. The team must find creative solutions to adapt to these early-season challenges.
One potential solution could be deploying Aaron Wiggins and Ousmane Dieng in the small ball-5 role, a strategy they experimented with last season.
This could serve as a short-term alternative to address the absence of key players.
Despite the hurdles, the Thunder remains committed to facing the upcoming season with resilience and determination.
OKC continue their preseason as they take on the Milwaukee Bucks’ in the next hour.
Thunder starters vs Bucks
Dame and Giannis also playing for Bucks tonight.