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Preview: Nuggets should go with youth movement vs Thunder

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We are here in Oklahoma City, a windy place ... a snowy place ... it's just like Denver!

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City, OK -- As part of my See Every NBA Arena tour, I'm here in cloudy, windy, and snowy OKC. Basically I traded in Denver for a little less snow for a couple of days. I arrived in OKC late last night, after pulling a Ty Lawson!

We all figure that missing a flight is pretty much impossible right? Wrong! I got off work Friday night, from the other full time gig (yes, I consider this a full time gig, blogging takes up about 97% of my thinking time), and got home about 11:30 pm. I threw in a load of laundry, packed my bags, set my alarm, and was ready to pop up at 5:30 am, head to Denver International Airport, board a plane at 8:50 am, and catch a college hoops game in OKC Saturday afternoon. Well, those plans all went to awry pretty quick ...

I have been in the habit of not turning my new jumbo iPhone 6-plus on silent. I just don't do it. Well, just before I hit the hay at 1:30 am on Saturday after getting all packed up, I set two alarms on my phone, and zonked out. I awoke feeling pretty refreshed - I knew immediately that I was likely in trouble for a couple reasons:

1.) I woke up without an alarm.

2.) I didn't wake up feeling like I just went to sleep.

The panic set it when I looked at my clock and it was 7:45 am! I got up and started scrambling, but realized I was never going to make my scheduled flight. One of the first things I did was call the party that was going to pick me up at the Airport in Oklahoma to let them know I did the impossible ... I was going to miss the flight.

After that I called the airline, but quickly realized the internet would be the fastest route to find another departing flying air tube. There were three other flights heading into OKC, but the two earlier times were already sold out. So, I grabbed a 6:25 pm depart time and started praying to Mother Nature to hold off on Snowpacalype until I was safely in the air.

Luckily, Mother Nature obliged, for the most part. The snow started to pour down around DIA about two hours before my flight, we suffered a little delay, de-iced the metal flying tube, and we were airborne by 7:30 pm.

I now can empathize with Lawson a little bit as my best laid plans were ruined in 2015 by a button on an iPhone. Why in this day and age would I want the silent mode on my phone to silence my alarm? Whoever invents (it probably already exists) an override silent mode option for the alarm's sake, will one day be rolling around on a pile of money.

But fear not, I am in OKC and getting ready to go see the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial. If you're not familiar with it, here is a little information:

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is a place of quiet reflection. Designed by Butzer Design Partnership, this Memorial honors the victims, survivors, rescuers, and all who were changed forever on April 19, 1995. It encompasses the now-sacred soil where the Murrah Building once stood, as well as the surrounding area devastated during the attack.

Game 55: 2014-15 NBA Season
@

Thunder

20-34 (8-20 on road)
Series 2-1 OKC
30-25 (17-8 at home)
Feb. 22, 2015
Chesapeake Energy Arena - Oklahoma City, OK
5:00 PM MT
NBA TV / Altitude / 104.3 FM

Ty Lawson PG Wussell Westbrook!!!! aka Russell
Danilo Gallinari
SG Andre Roberson
Wilson Chandler SF Kyle Singler (?)
Kenneth Faried PF Sir Jabaka aka Serge Ibaka (@southstands303's nickname)
Jusuf Nurkic
C Enes Kanter
Notes
Denver Stiffs Blogs Welcome to Loud City
None. Seriously! Injuries Steven Adams (a hand), Kevin Durant (a foot)

The Thunder boast lots of former Nuggets on staff: Scott Brooks coached under George Karl, Robert Pack needs no introduction, Rex Kalamian was an assistant back in 2004-05, and Mark Bryant played three games with Denver back in 2002-03 (the bad old days, like now!)

Etc...

No more Kendrick Perkins, he joined up to be Timofey Mozgov's understudy in Cleveland

The Thunder played in Charlotte last night and Kyle Singler (Pistons), Enes Kanter (Jazz), D.J. Augustin (Pistons) all made their debuts. Singler and Kanter started in the places of Kevin Durant and Steven Adams. Augustin came off the bench and Steve Novak (Jazz) recorded a Did Not Play - Coach's Decision.

Of the three, Kanter was the most impressive. He logged 32 minutes, shot 4-9 from the field (2-6 free throws) for 10 points, grabbed 13 rebounds (5 offensive), but also notched 5 fouls. The young big man, just 22 years old, could be a solid add for a team that has been in search of a center since trading for Kendrick Perkins (for Jeff Green) back in 2010. Perkins' mean mug was dealt to the Jazz, but he was bought out and recently signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It appears the Thunder are going for it a little bit this season. They had been holding out dealing Perkins for years, and he was widely seen as a piece that kept their locker room together. The Nuggets also went for it a little bit at the deadline, but in the opposite direction. The team found itself as sellers at the trade deadline, but they also added a couple pieces.

Will Barton and Joffrey Lauvergne are both with the Nuggets, but neither has made their official debuts with the team. Tonight could be the night we see them play ... hopefully.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Look who&#39;s in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Nuggets?src=hash">#Nuggets</a> blue!&#10;&#10;We like what we see, Will. <a href="http://t.co/ha9qvOxerh">pic.twitter.com/ha9qvOxerh</a></p>&mdash; Denver Nuggets (@denvernuggets) <a href="https://twitter.com/denvernuggets/status/569223930935775232">February 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Ty Lawson should make his return to the floor tonight, after sitting out the Bucks game - for his travel issues (I'm with you Ty!). And of course the Nuggets bought out Thomas Robinson and waived Victor Claver, despite Claver seeming ready to join the team...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The Nuggets plan to waive newcomer swingman Victor Claver, a source told Yahoo Sports.</p>&mdash; Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) <a href="https://twitter.com/SpearsNBAYahoo/status/568974569140125696">February 21, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>New team new opportunity. Looking forward to play for the <a href="https://twitter.com/denvernuggets">@denvernuggets</a> !!</p>&mdash; Victor Claver (@Victor_Claver) <a href="https://twitter.com/Victor_Claver/status/568507671613018114">February 19, 2015</a></blockquote>

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I'm off to see a little of OKC and will be back with coverage later in the day when I get to Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Post Script:

Youth movement ... Well, that means playing the young guys - win or lose.

Randy Foye played 25 minutes to Gary Harris' 4 minutes vs the Bucks.

J.J. Hickson played 15 minutes and unrestricted free agent to be Darrell Arthur played 20 minutes vs the Bucks to Joffrey Lauvergne recording a DNP-CD (Brian Shaw couldn't really play him right? It was his first game in the NBA and with a new team. Does it matter that OKC started two of their four new acquisitions and played three of the four?). And Kenneth Faried played just 23 minutes.

Jameer Nelson played 37 minutes to Erick Green's 11 in Milwaukee.

Fortunately Danilo Gallinari and Jusuf Nurkic both received over 30 minutes, and Wilson Chandler logged a high 38 minutes. I'm not sure Chandler should be logging major minutes for a team bound for the lottery. Why wear him down?

I do have to say, I'd be a terrible coach and my backseat driving of Shaw's rotation is just that. But I think we should be seeing more young guys gain minutes over these last 28 games.