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Thunder’s Thabo Sefolosha out 4-6 weeks with calf injury

Mar 3, 2014, 12:01 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder Getty Images

Two-fifths of Oklahoma City’s starting lineup — two guys important to their defensive identity — will now be sidelined basically until the playoffs start.

Starting two guard Thabo Sefolosha will be out four to six weeks with a calf strain, reports the Oklahoman. The injury occurred Saturday night when the Thunder were beating the Cavs.

“He may come back a little sooner than this, he may come back a little later,” Thunder general Sam Presti said. “But we’re gonna (say) 4-6 weeks.”

“It’s unfortunate for us to have Thabo out,” Kevin Durant said. “He was playing so well, defending at a high level … It’s a blow to us that he’s gone, but we’re going to hold it down.”

This comes just days after the Thunder learned Kendrick Perkins also will be out the same amount of time with a strained groin. Both Perkins and Sefolosha are expected back by the start of the playoffs.

In the short term, Perry Jones will move into the Thunder’s starting rotation.

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When Perkins and Sefolosha are on the court together the Thunder defense is basically flat with the team’s season average (0.3 points per 100 possessions better, the opposing team’s shooting percentage is 0.3 percent higher). As you would expect (especially with Perkins) the Thunder offense is better when those two sit (OKC’s scores 5 points less per 100 possessions when they are paired). However, with Jones and Steven Adams starting the Thunder likely suffers. Their offense is going to have to carry them.

Which is a concern with the Spurs 1.5 games back of the Thunder for the best record in the West and home court throughout the playoffs. And the Spurs just got their core back healthy. The Thunder are also 1.5 games back of the Pacers for the best record overall in the NBA (meaning home court in a potential NBA Finals meeting).

  1. sylpkt - Mar 3, 2014 at 12:21 PM

    Just more time for some of the younger players hopefully (although I fear Scotty will give the minutes to D(ecaying)Fish and Caron Butler instead of Lamb & Perry Jones).

    What is interesting is that the starting lineup currently features a 6’3″ PG, a 6’11” SG, a 6’11” SF, a 6’11” PF and a 7’2″ C. That might be the tallest starting lineup in the history of the league.

    • cmehustle - Mar 3, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      Knowing they had to let Harden go, like you I thought they would work on developing youngsters like Jones and Lamb. Why does Scotty Brooks hate young players?

  2. antistratfordian - Mar 3, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Luckily they just signed Butler.

    • muhangis - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:31 AM

      lol antistratfordian is most certainly out of touch, again. Get in with the new and out with the washed out bud.

      I like Caron, but he’s 34 and it’s been a few years now where his game hasn’t been on par to being a winning component. He couldn’t even do anything for the league far worst Bucks (who actually have some very talented players.) Explain with your anti-intuitive logic, what makes you think he’s going to help the Thunder win in any way?

      • antistratfordian - Mar 4, 2014 at 12:55 AM

        Wow, that struck a nerve, eh? Are you a Sonics fan, muhangis?

        In any case, you do know that he started 78 games for the Clippers last year, right? They did pretty well and he didn’t do so bad either.

        There is a reason why he was coveted when he became available.

  3. jolink653 - Mar 3, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    I think they’re building their way up to giving Lamb, PJ3 and Adams more valuable roles on this team rather than just toss them into the lineup as a sink-or-swim style of development. Perkins will be gone once his contract is up, and Brooks is grooming Adams to take that spot, and Lamb and PJ3 are slowly getting more minutes as they get more experience. Brooks developed Reggie Jackson the same way, and it worked out pretty well there. Sefolosha’s defense will be what’s missed until he’s back

    • spursareold - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Brooks is going to talk the FO into renewing Perkins, so there will be no money available for Jackson, and he’ll leave.

  4. supremekingz - Mar 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Can we just call this injury what it really is?

    Kyrie Irving DESTROYED Sefalosha with a killer crossover and sent him baseball sliding. This is the real life version of someone getting their ankles (in this instance calfs) broken.

  5. ranfan12 - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    What’s going on with the calf strain injuries this season… Even manged to get one myself -_-

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