Nazr Mohammed to Get First Start With Thunder

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:14 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Mar 2, 2011 11:52 AM CDT

Oklahoma Sports Staff

OKLAHOMA CITY – An official with the Oklahoma City Thunder told Oklahoma Sports that the team plans to start newly acquired center Nazr Mohammed Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers.

The Thunder acquired Mohammed from the Charlotte Bobcats at the trade deadline last Thursday, but he has not seen the court yet. He is averaging 7.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game so far this season.

Oklahoma City also acquired Kendrick Perkins at the trade deadline, but he is expected to miss between two and three weeks with a sprained left knee.

Since the Thunder completed its two trades, it has shown significant trouble guarding big men down low. OKC has lost three games in a row for the first time this season, and in that stretch allowed Dwight Howard to score 40 points and allowed Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum to combine to score 34 points.

Oklahoma City will face another tough test down low against the Pacers in the form of center Roy Hibbert. Hibbert stands at 7-foot-2 and 278 pounds, and his size could present a problem. The Thunder acquired Mohammed for his defense and rebounding ability, making this an ideal time to showcase his talents.

It is currently unclear how many minutes Mohammed is expected to play Wednesday or how extensive his role will be once Perkins returns from his injury.