Bricktown Beat

Thunder training camp notebook: Injury report, college connection, Daigneault dishes out delights

Photo Credits: Alonzo Adams/USA Today

After a day of settling in, the Oklahoma City Thunder were in full swing for day two of training camp. Day two shed light on a much more intensive, action-packed practice than the first — making for an impressive outing of workouts.

Here are the top moments from day two:

Injury Update

Oklahoma City’s injury card was upscaled to three players for this practice.

Derrick Favors, who was absent from Tuesday’s practice, also sat out of play for day two. Favors’ no-show from yesterday had been justified due to off-site treatment on his knee. However, for Wednesday, Favors was slated to partake in team practices, but a miscalculation in returning flights pushed making his debut out of the equation.

Vit Krejci tacked his name onto the board following an impressive outing on day one of team practice. The 21-year-old’s play had been worthy of extra reps for Wednesday’s practice, but the close inspection of his ACL recovery sidelined the guard in an effort to recuperate his strength for later in camp.  

Tre Mann competed on day two of practices, however, the rookie made an early exit following an apparent groin injury. Mann’s injury status on the guard is at a current standstill, though if the Summer League sparks any precedent, the injury could hold him from competition for a safe period of time.

Dort’s insights

Lu Dort was the main source of information coming out of day one.

Outside of the guard’s chatter on returning on Blue soil, the 22-year-old shed light on a plethora of teammates, and how they’ve done thus far.

To open Dort’s list of praises, the Arizona State alum praised his former college teammate, and current training camp teammate, Rob Edwards, noting that Edwards has been “good” thus far and that he’d be willing to give any pointers necessary to the guard. Edwards and Dort teamed up for the 2018-19 season in which Dort held All-Pac-12 honors while Edwards recorded 11.1 points a game.

Lu Dort cited another sophomore in his list, crediting Theo Maledon for making major strides in the finishing department. It should be mentioned that one of Maledon’s biggest takeaways from his Media Day presser rested in the sheer amount of muscle he has put on. The 20-year-old assertiveness will be something to monitor throughout the week.

As for rookies, Dort made nods to both Josh Giddey and Aaron Wiggins while with the media. Dort took interest in Giddey’s playmaking, stating, “he knows how to find his teammates,” and that he’s proven to be a legitimate point guard. Dort also drew the comparison to two-way rookie Aaron Wiggins stating that the guard is capable of earning a standard contract, just as he did two seasons ago.

Josh Giddey learning the motions

Turning 19 in October, guard Josh Giddey clocks in as the second-youngest player in the NBA. Despite the assumed immaturity, the Aussie has been all hands in through two days of practice.

Giddey mentioned a “good energy” in the room when describing the first two days of practice to this point. The guard also paid homage to the Thunder’s old practice facility noting it was great to be back where it all started.

As for on-the-court play, Giddey described the first two days as competitive, harvesting a much more intense environment than Summer League practices. The Aussie also added that a lot of boundaries had been pushed on the defensive side. Giddey, who has played strictly point guard to this point, had been switching 1-3, and in some cases 1-4 throughout play. Giddey’s scrimmages to the point have been filled with teaching moments — something he’s both expected, and been excited for.

Picking up from Dort’s uplifting comments, the 18-year-old complimented fellow rookie Jeremiah Robinson-Earl for stepping out the perimeter and “knocking down” shots while also pumping up Isaiah Roby’s screen-setting ability. 

Mark Daigneault praises the young bucks 

Daigneault brought up the notion of a “clean slate” on day one of Thunder practices. Based on his remarks Wednesday — there is a solid foundation.

Josh Giddey received the first portion of praise as Daigneault said his defense has been “impressive” to this point. When asked about Giddey’s current role, Daigneault said, “I don’t know yet. Certainly, when he is on the floor with Shai it’ll be off-ball mostly, but that doesn’t mean exclusively. You guys saw how we played last year.”

Outstretching his reach to the entirety of the rookie panel, Daigneault made it clear they don’t seem behind at all.

Aleksej Pokusevski’s strength was verified by Daigneault, noting that Poku has been getting to the paint more frequently, and his game has shown down — particularly on the defensive side.

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