Thunder Making the Most of Depleted Bench Unit

  • If you took a look at the box score from Monday loss to the Kings before the season, youd think the Thunder had spent the first half of the season wheeling and dealing, flipping assets for picks left and right, and this is what was left over.The Thunder entered the game with six of it fifteen main-roster players out with varying injuriesthree of which being the main core of the bench. Without Ty Jerome, Kenrich Williams and Mike Muscala all outand Tre Mann and Isaiah Roby forced into the starting lineupthe Thunder have had to turn to the next crop of players to backfill those spots . Enter Olivier Sarr, Lindy Waters III and Vit Krejci. Sarr and Waters are both recent signees to two-way contracts playing in the first stretch of NBA games of their careers. Sarr featured in two games, playing less than 14 minutes total earlier this season on a 10-day contract and impressed enough to be re-signed when Aaron Wiggins contract was converted in February.Krejci has dealt with a myriad of injuries in his time in OKC and is putting together his first stretch of games with the newfound opportunities. He is still trying to find what his role on an NBA team looks like, but has averaged six points and has shown glimpses of the 3-point shooting he became known for in his time with the OKC Blue. Along with the crop above, old friends Aleksej Pokusevski and Theo Maledon have stepped up their games in the absence of the players typically ahead of them. Pokusevski has averaged 11 .7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists since the All-Star breaka continuation of his ascension following a lengthy G League stint. Maledon has added 8.3 points of his own over those three gameshighlighted by a 14-point outing against the Pacers.The Thunder will see some of its bench pieces return in the coming weeks, but with the play of their replacements will put OKC in a good place should other injuries arise.Want to join the discussion? Like SI Thunder on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest Thunder news . You can also meet the team behind the coverage.

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