Views from OKC: Thunder search for first win of 2017

Jan 2, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) goes up for a shot against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the second half at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Thunder defeated the Hornets 109-90. Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Views from OKC, Thunderous Intentions’ daily roundup of the best OKC Thunder stories across the web.

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Thunder travel to Charlotte to face MJ’s Hornets

“During Wednesday’s evenly matched intra-conference skirmish, each squad will look to reestablish positive traction. For OKC, the season’s initial meeting with Charlotte will also represent the first leg in a set of back-to-back contests. Entering Wednesday’s foray, the Thunder sports an even 8-8 away record, while the Hornets are 11-7 at home.”

I’m so darn excited to watch this game. Watching Kemba Walker and Russell Westbrook is going to be a joy to watch. Even better will be seeing the offensively inept Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist and Andre Roberson on the same court. The Thunder can’t afford to lose this game considering they face the Rockets tomorrow; a three-game losing streak would wipe away all the progress they made when Oladipo went out.

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Breaking down Cameron Payne’s D-League debut

“Payne started the game on the bench, but didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard. He came in with 3:36 left the first quarter and immediately hit a jump shot on his first possession. After that, there were the expected ups and downs of missing three months of game action.”

Welp that was a little underwhelming. So I’m being hard on the kid, shoot me. Payne shot 5-19 in his first game back from the foot injury, including 1-10 from deep. He recorded three assists in 19 minutes. Erik Horne notes that Payne was at his best when he was attacking the basket yet the 22-year old took more attempts from deep than inside the arc. That’s not what the Thunder need Payne to do. Still it’s nice hearing that he looked fairly comfortable in his first game back.

Nick Gallo’s awesome practice report

“A lively, spirited Thunder group hit the floor on Tuesday afternoon in Charlotte, just 12 hours after leaving a tough 98-94 loss in Milwaukee against the Bucks. A team that can bounce back and move on to the next game quickly is the type of team that has a chance on the road, and the Thunder has two more challenging contests coming up on this trip against the Charlotte Hornets and Houston Rockets.”

It’s great hearing that this young Thunder team wasn’t negative in practice after that tough loss in Milwaukee. After destroying the Clippers, the Thunder came out firing against the Bucks; we know how that ended though. The key to this tough January schedule is to remain positive because there will be losses. But keeping their head up may result in a couple less losses than expected.

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