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November 20, 2019, 11:08:33 pm
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Author Topic: National Basketball Association  (Read 505 times)
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« on: October 09, 2019, 03:28:23 pm »

Oklahoma got its first glimpse of the Thunder in Monday's preseason game before an enthusiastic crowd of 12,055 inside the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa.

                         Oklahoma City Thunder's Abel Nader drives to the basket around Dallas Mavericks' Isaiah Roby during a preseason NBA basketball game in Tulsa, Okla.,
                         Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Dave Crenshaw)(Dave Crenshaw / AP)--Dallas Morning News.

     TULSA, Okla. — Isaiah Roby’s final statistics from his first game with the Mavericks included two points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in 17 minutes.

     What didn’t show in the box score from Tuesday’s 119-104 preseason loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder?

     Days worth of off-court learning for the rookie second-round pick.

     The curve started Monday afternoon, when Roby first boarded the team’s private plane. When he played the last three seasons at Nebraska, the team traveled well, Roby said,
     but the Mavericks in-flight menu to Tulsa included California rolls.

     “Sushi on a plane?” Roby said. “In college, we were fighting for granola bars.”

     Then hours before the preseason opener Tuesday, Roby walked onto the BOK Center court to take warm-up shots and saw Jeff Van Gundy preparing his notes for ESPN’s
     game broadcast.

     Roby had one thought.

     “That’s when it’s like, ‘It’s finally here,’” Roby said.

     Roby’s $1.5 million cap hit this season — part of the four-year, $6.7 million contract he signed this summer — will be the largest salary a player selected in the second round
     of the draft out of college has earned in his first NBA season.

     But his debut didn’t come without lapses.

     Roby hasn’t yet had a chance to develop a pregame routine. When he walked out of the training room before the game Tuesday, he realized he was 45 minutes ahead of
     schedule because the Mavericks have different benchmarks than he found a rhythm with in college.

     And he made just one of his six shot attempts from the field, including neither of his two tries from three, after entering the game midway through the third quarter.

     “At 46 in the draft, he’s a steal,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But this is a big learning game for him, and it’s pretty clear the things he’s got to do. He’s got to keep refining his
     long-range shot and get used to the NBA reads.”

     ESPN Box score:  https://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=401163133

     Dallas Mavericks vs Oklahoma City Thunder - Full Highlights | October 8, 2019:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8igyKhp1Fs


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