Bricktown Beat

Three Thunder Players Who Need to Make a Statement In Friday’s Game vs. the Bulls

With the final preseason game approaching, people should remember that the Thunder still stands way over the maximum threshold for players on the roster (15.) Currently, the Thunder have 20 players on their roster, with 18 of those being on full-scale NBA contracts. Three roster spots need to be shed and for alot of players and some difficult decisions will have to be made.

Here are Three Thunder Players Who Need to Make a Statement in Friday’s game:

Admiral Schofield- SG/SF

Creator: Kevin Jairaj | Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Schofield has been on my safe list since he was traded to the Thunder last month, but his lack of production in the preseason will definitely put a magnifying glass on how he is able to finish things off in the Thunder’s final game vs. the Bulls.

Admiral Schofield’s Stats Thus Far- 13.0 MPG, 0% FG (0-3), 1 APG, 1 RPG

Schofield really has not made any sort of impact in either game, but there’s a valid case that he was not given a real opportunity to shine in either game. His minutes were all in the second half of games and in the case of Wednesday’s game vs. the Bulls, he just played garbage time minutes in the 4th.

Schofield, is a 6’5″ Shooting Guard who came into the NBA weighing in at 241 lbs. There have been reports that Schofield has cut down as much as 15 pounds heading into the offseason, but he still looks very big. Schofield’s bread and butter thus far in his career has been with catch and shooting ability, as well as his sneaky good athleticism he possesses around the basket.

I’d expect Schofield to be playing 20+ minutes tonight as he has hardly had any run with the team and hasn’t been very productive in his minutes.

Justin Jackson – SF/PF

Creator: Rocky Widner | Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Justin Jackson did not have a good debut with the Thunder on Wednesday. Jackson shot 3/11, with most of his shots being heavily contested runners, which to no ones surprise fell short. He played at the 3 and 4 positions, but his speed and athleticism really limits himself to being a Power Forward.

He’s more of a one trick pony as he’s been coined a straight shooter since being drafted into the NBA, and the same still applies now. The role of him spotting up in the corner is where he is best suited at, and if he is able to string together a nice game from distance it may just be enough for the coaches to want to see him more in the regular season.

T.J. Leaf – PF/C

Creator: Hannah Foslien | Credit: Getty Images

T.J. Leaf was brought into the Thunder organization just a few weeks ago as we dealt off Jalen Lecque for him and a future 2nd. Just like Justin Jackson, T.J. Leaf is more of your standard stretch four, but his size at 6’10” allows him to also play at the center position.

Leaf did not play in Wednesday’s gave vs. the Bulls, but he has been cleared to play in Friday’s game vs. the Bulls. He was 2-5 in his one game thus far against the Spurs, but he actually racked up a solid statline with 8/5/0 in 17 minutes.

He is really in the same boat as Justin Jackson, fighting over who will be playing in the second unit alongside Mike Muscala in the frontcourt.

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