Thunder view it as a priority to get Tre Mann more playing time

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·3 min read
Thunder view it as a priority to get Tre Mann more playing time
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  • Oklahoma City Thunder
    Oklahoma City Thunder
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  • Tre Mann
    Tre Mann
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  • Mark Daigneault
    American basketball coach

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault on Monday said the team is intentionally trying to get rookie Tre Mann additional playing time in the near future.

Mann has spent time in the NBA G League this season with the OKC Blue as playing time has come at a premium with the Thunder. He has responded by averaging 15.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals in six appearances with the Blue.

The Thunder have given Mann a larger role as of late to see what kind of progress he has made after playing with the Blue. The additional playing time resulted in a career performance on Monday in a loss to the Houston Rockets.

Mann recorded 17 points, seven rebounds, two steals, one assist and one blocked shot in a season-high 30 minutes of work. Daigneault can see improvement from Mann.

He is coming along, gaining confidence. We have shuttled him back and forth between the Blue — it is by design. But it doesn’t make it any easier for him with the change of scenery, change of role. Like I said the other night, we’re going to give him a little bit of a sustained look here because we kinda what to check in with him and see where he’s at. Obviously tonight, he got it going scoring-wise but he also was on the glass and defended well. His closeouts were strong.

The Thunder have asked Mann to focus on making high-effort plays, such as rebounding, chasing loose balls and doing the dirty work. He ultimately knows that is how he can stay in games longer and has committed to doing that on the court.

Mann is viewed by the Thunder as a scoring threat given his ability to create for himself and others. However, the offense hasn’t shown yet given such a limited role but Mann believes that can change with additional playing time.

Playing more, getting up more shots, my shots are starting to fall and playing with more rhythm and things like that but it’s really the defensive end for me. That’s what I’m trying to do – play hard on defense, get loose balls, get rebounds. I feel like that is going to keep me on the floor longer and as I’m on the floor, shots will fall and I’ll start to do more offense.

The assignment with the Blue in G League appears to be paying off as Mann looks to be more comfortable on the court. He has watched plenty of film throughout the season to see how he can get better shots, and that was on display on Monday.

The organization certainly has to like the progress Mann has made to this point of the season as it only looks to be the beginning of a bright future for him.

This post originally appeared on Rookie Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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