When Oklahoma City opened up its practice to the media Thursday, the expectation was to see a walking M*A*S*H unit. After Tuesday's loss in Toronto, the team had only seven healthy players.
But what was on the practice court was far from that as several formerly injured players participated in the practice session. That included Jeremy Lamb, who has yet to play in a regular season game due to a strained lower back.
But Lamb and Anthony Morrow could return to the lineup Friday when the Thunder host the undefeated Memphis Grizzlies at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"He's feeling pretty good today," coach Scott Brooks said of Lamb, "but we'll see how he feels tomorrow, but he went through all the practice today and Anthony (Morrow) participated in some of the practice. He's feeling better but I don't know about the status of him playing or not."
Along with Lamb and Morrow, Reggie Jackson also went through practice. He was hobbled after taking a beating in the loss to Toronto.
Andre Roberson, who had a walking boot on Tuesday, was limping around the court. But neither he nor Perry Jones are not expected to play Friday.
What may have been the most surprising sight of the day was Kevin Durant walking around without his walking boot. Even though Brooks said the reigning MVP had it on earlier in the day, Durant seemed to feel comfortable enough to have it off for a slow stroll through the gym.
Rookie Mitch McGary was also without his walking boot. There was no sign of Russell Westbrook.
The Thunder are returning home after a two game road trip on the East Coast. Being back in their own house gives the team a chance to regroup and re-energize.
"Yesterday was definitely a well deserved day off for our team, " Brooks said. "A lot of traveling, a lot of very good teams on the road. But that's the NBA. You have a tough schedule throughout the year. It was good to have a day off yesterday, but it was good to get guys back today. Obviously we had to be a little creative with the numbers of guys that we have. We had eight guys today."
Chemistry issues? In the Thunder's loss Monday to Brooklyn, some on-court drama played out between Jackson and teammates Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka. The two big men seemed to have an issue with the style Jackson was playing with in his first game back with the team.
Perkins spoke about what they were trying to get across to Jackson.
"Just to let him know that we are with him," Perkins said. "We are out here working hard, too. I know it was Reggie's first game back. Your first game back you want to get a rhythm going. Want to show the world he's ready to play. Just let the game come to you."
Yet, Perkins said there are no problems between he and Jackson.
"With myself and Serge, we have to do a better job with our body language and leadership skills," Perkins said. "I didn't like the way I acted during the game as far as my body language toward Reggie. But we know Reggie means well. We support him. He is one of my good friends off the court."
Grizzly watch: No two teams in the league may know each other as well as Memphis and Oklahoma City. After their first-round series last year, the already contentious rivalry went to another level.
However, the Thunder say they enjoy the physical confrontations with the likes of Zach Randolph, Tony Allen and Marc Gasol, who Perkins said is the second best big man in the NBA behind DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento).
"They are not fun to watch, but they grind it out first through the fourth quarter," Perkins said. "You don't have to play perfect basketball, but you have to play something close to it to beat them. They have guys who have a lot of pride over there. They love beating us when they got a chance."
Quote of the day: It comes from Perkins, of course, when talking about the 1-4 start to the season for the Thunder.
"I was watching teams like the Rockets, they are 5-0," Perkins said. "Last night I saw Golden State and they are 4-0. Last night the (Utah) Jazz won, so they have better record than us. And that never happens."