By Nick Gallo | Thunder Basketball Writer | [email protected]

The Thunder, led by its head coach, Scott Brooks, is a fiery group that is always ultra-competitive. Even in the preseason, the Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook-led group will try to put its best foot forward, even if the wins and losses aren’t the most integral part of the exhibition experience.

Tonight in Denver against the Nuggets, the Thunder will try to continue to develop a rhythm with one another and keep improving as a unit in its first preseason game of the year. Due to minor injuries, the starters tonight will be Russell Westbrook, Andre Roberson, Kevin Durant, Mitch McGary and Steven Adams, with a number of other players waiting in the wings with opportunities for playing time. Roberson started 16 games last season, but this will be McGary’s first-ever professional game.

“Great effort and teamwork, things that we preach every day,” Brooks said when asked what he wants to see from Roberson and McGary. “Ball movement and doing the little things to impact the game. If you’re open, make the right play, whether it’s a shot or putting it on the floor to make a shot for another teammate.”

The final score won’t be the most important takeaway from tonight’s game, rather it will be integrating new faces like Anthony Morrow into the rotation and finding ways to transfer the work on the practice floor onto the game floor. Still in the midst of U.S. Cellular Thunder Training Camp, these chances to get on the floor against an external opponent is an excellent opportunity to evaluate itself in a different setting than practices, shootarounds or scrimmages.

“It’s just to get better every day,” Morrow said. “You have an opportunity at practice, shootaround and games, everybody is getting in extra work. Just …read more