Final Preseason Push at the ‘Peake

Paris Lawson

By Paris Lawson | Digital Content Reporter |

From all pink jumpsuits to camo jackets, there’s no telling what the concrete catwalk in Chesapeake Energy Arena will see on Wednesday as Thunder players make their usual march from the loading dock to the locker room before the game. While players often surprise photographers with their chosen ensembles, one thing is certain leading up to the final preseason game against the Memphis Grizzlies – each Thunder player will arrive primed with preseason lessons and outfitted with a solid foundation from their time in the gauntlet of training camp.

Following its loss against Dallas on Monday, the Thunder walked out of American Airlines Arena with a few key takeaways that it will build on moving toward the final leg of the 2019 preseason.

The Thunder saw a promising defensive performance from Hamidou Diallo who had the challenging assignment of guarding the reigning Rookie of the Year, Luka Doncic, all night and forced six turnovers from the Mavs' star.

“He did a really good job," Thunder Head Coach Billy Donovan said of Diallo. "He was disciplined. He made it hard on him. He’s gotta get used to guarding those kind of guys. He has that kind of ability.”

Hamidou Diallo

On the offensive end, the Thunder will look to get into an early rhythm. Ball movement and pace of play have been key tenants during training camp. On Monday, there were several plays where the players made the extra pass for an easy bucket at the rim and they will look to continue those habits against the Grizzlies.

“We’ll take the positive things that we did in the game – we did some good things and we’ll just focus on those,” said forward Danilo Gallinari.

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Leggo Gallo

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Donovan will also look for his team to generate the best shot available. With the talent on the roster, getting a shot off is not necessarily the area of concern; the focus is to consistently generate the highest quality shot possible in each possession.

With Steven Adams and Chris Paul resting on Monday, the game gave the younger players the opportunity to play extended minutes and showcase what they can do against a quality opponent like Dallas. On Wednesday, however, the youth and experience will likely be combined again with Paul and Adams potentially back in the lineup.

Watch the Thunder take on the Grizzlies at 7 p.m. CT on or the Thunder Mobile App, or listen on WWLS 98.1 FM.

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