Reigning Northwest Division champs Oklahoma City Thunderis having a solid start in the condensed NBA season. After ten games they are now 8-2 which tops the Western Conference and tied for second in the entire league. In the five home games that the Thunder played in Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City Thunder tickets have been sold out. They 5-1 at home so far. The most sold out game for the season was when the defending champs visited the team. In that game, Kevin Durant hit the game-winning three to seal the victory.
In their game against the Houston Rockets in Toyota Center on January 7, Oklahoma City beat the Rockets for the second night in a row 98-95. This win however came in the expense of losing backup point guard Eric Maynor to a knee injury. Maynor suffered the injury to his right knee in the fourth quarter of that game and needed to be carried off the court. In that play, Maynor drove the lane and the knee buckled. No player from either team made contact with him in the said play. Several tests revealed that the 24-year-old guard from Virginia Commonwealth University suffered a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament. Former NBA veteran and Thunder head coach Scott Brooks told that the win in Houston “was a good win but it was not a great night” for the team. Due to the injury, Maynor would undergo surgery and would miss the rest of the season.
The three-year veteran has not suffered any major injury throughout his young career. In his first two seasons, he has missed only one game which shows his durability. For the season, Maynor is averaging 4.2 points and 2.4 assists per game in 15.2 minutes of playing. For his career (26 games with Utah Jazz), Maynor is averaging 4.5 points and 3.1 assists per game in 15.2 minutes of action. He is also in the top ten in the league the first two seasons in assist-to-turnover ratio.
Maynor is a player that is a perfect backup for all star guard Russell Westbrook because he understands the position and role that he is playing. Without him, Oklahoma City would be leaning on the services of rookie point guard Reggie Jackson and veteran Royal Ivey. Sixth man James Harden might also play in the point according to Brooks. This injury will be the first disruption to the 10-man rotation that Brooks uses for the season which had been intact since last season’s playoffs.
In this young NBA season, Durant is again leading the team in scoring averaging 26.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, one steal, and a block per game. His other all star, on the other hand, is struggling to start the season. So far this season, he is averaging 17.8 points, 5.3 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals a game. His scoring and assists are down for the season. Picking up the scoring slack of Westbrook is James Harden averaging 17.6 points, 5 rebounds and 3.9 assists per outing. Harden has started only one game so far.
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