In the midst of Oklahoma City’s five-game losing streak, success has been futile when closing out contests. As per Mark Daigneault, the Thunder roster will have their roster reinvigorated, as mainstays Lu Dort and Darius Bazley have been cleared to play Saturday versus the 76ers.
Dort and Bazley are both expected to be placed in the starting lineup brought out with no minute restriction.
Time has changed drastically from the last time we saw appearances from Dort or Bazley. Dort’s last contest came March 27, missing the organizations last seven games after being placed in the league’s concussion protocol. In this span, Oklahoma City has lost six-of-seven games by an average margin of 24.0 points, with their lone win coming against the Raptors 113-103. In regards to Bazely, the 20-year-old has been absent since the All-Star break, last playing over a month ago on March 4. In Bazley’s seventeen missed contests, the Thunder have gone 5-12, marking a bottom three record in that span.
Dort and Bazley should be a revelation to the roster, inserting themselves in a starting unit structured with Theo Maledon, Aleksej Pokusevski, and Moses Brown. When Daigneault rolls out this lineup, the Thunder will squash the NBA record for the youngest starting lineup of all time, placing a unit averaging 20 years, 8 months, and 6 days old — nipping Phoenix’s 21 years, 14 day record handedly.
Lu Dort will look to capitalize on his impressive sophomore campaign Saturday. The 21-year-old currently averages 12.4 points while shooting 32 percent from distance.
For Bazley, the point-forward has had a lackluster sophomore season, carrying averages of 11.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists while shooting a lowly 29 percent from distance on 5.2 attempts. Given Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is expected to miss considerable time (plantar fasciitis), the forward should have more leeway to run the offense — a move that you’d hope could continue his all-around growth.