The Thunder travel to the Grindhouse to take on the banged up Grizzlies, where not much grinding has been going on this season. Keep reading »
NBATV's plus/minus was ridiculous last night. Keep reading »
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 107.1 (10th), Grizzlies – 102.6 (22nd)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.2 (5th), Grizzlies – 105.7 (17th)
Pace: Thunder – 96.6 (4th), Grizzlies – 89.9 (30th)
LeBron says rivalry is dead in the NBA and while I don’t necessarily think Thunder-Grizzlies is, or has ever been one, it certainly has been one of the best isolated matchups for OKC the past five years. Regardless of situation, the game always seems to come down to the final 10 possessions or so. Keep Reading…
Sean Highkin of USA Today: “The 2012-13 Thunder replicated the formula of their 2012 Finals run by sliding Kevin Martin into Harden’s sixth-man role. They finished the year with the second-best record in the West and appeared to be the favorites for a repeat Finals berth until Westbrook went down with a knee injury in the first round. When Martin left for the Minnesota Timberwolves this summer, they didn’t sign an obvious replacement. As it turns out, they didn’t need to. Third-year point guard Reggie Jackson is blossoming in a bench role, and second-year guard Jeremy Lamb, a key piece in the Harden deal, has improved at both ends of the floor after spending most of last season in the D-League. What this Thunder team lacks in a clear go-to scorer off the bench they make up for in depth.”
Anthony Slater: “Following his 17-point, 10-rebound breakout in Detroit early last month, Steven Adams tailed off a bit. His production, impact and minutes dwindled over the next couple weeks. But as of late, with his role still somewhat limited, Adams is back to giving the Thunder great minutes. I thought his activity in brief spurts on Tuesday was huge. He only got 11 minutes, the lowest among Thunder players who saw the floor, but he was impactful for that entire stretch. Defensively, he clogged the lane, ripped down four rebounds and blocked two Paul Millsap shots (with one erased by a questionable foul). And offensively, he flashed that unique touch around the rim, floating in a contested hook and rolling in a lay-in off a tough catch. Moving forward, Brooks should find him more minutes for him in different pockets of the game. His play has warranted it.” Keep Reading…
If you wanted to use “ugly” or “gross” or “bad-good-win” to describe this one, I wouldn’t really argue too much with you. But I’m going with “acceptable.”
Following up the high of absolutely smoking the Pacers on Sunday, the Thunder had to put their road shoes on and take on a decent Hawks team. Potentially dangerous-ish type of game, especially if the Thunder didn’t bring their best stuff. Which they most definitely didn’t. Russell Westbrook shot the ball like the point of basketball was to not make the ball go in, the Thunder were sloppy with the ball and they seemed to zone out at different times of the game.
But what was good mostly throughout, and mostly the reason they won, was the defensive side of things. After the Hawks cut a 15-point second half Thunder lead to three with 10:15 left, Scott Brooks called timeout. And the Hawks then didn’t score for almost four minutes as OKC went on a methodical 10-0 to push it back to 13.
The Hawks wouldn’t die, though, as they found their 3-point stroke, getting the lead back down to three with 2:05 left, but the Thunder had their closers closing as Westbrook and Kevin Durant made the necessary plays to eventually put them away. Keep Reading…
Offensive Rating: Thunder – 107.5 (7th), Hawks – 104.6 (15th)
Defensive Rating: Thunder – 101.7 (5th), Hawks – 104.3 (13th)
Pace: Thunder – 96.4 (5th), Hawks – 95.2 (10th)
The third best record in the West against the third best in the East. And yet something feels… different about these two teams. But here’s the thing: The Hawks aren’t bad at all. They’ve played some solid basketball, particularly recently, and can present teams with matchup issues. With Paul Millsap and Al Horford inside, they can be dominant in the paint, and Jeff Teague is quietly becoming this season’s Mike Conley. Keep Reading…
NBATV’s plus/minus was ridiculous last night.
With the Thunder in Atlanta to take on the Hawks tonight, Nick Collison dropped by NBATV’s studios on Monday to talk some about what makes him so terrific.
He said a lot of interesting things, but him discussing when he kind of realized what his place in this league was going to be was really good.
Sean Deveney of Sporting News writes how Thunder fan apparently played a part in a Grizzly coach getting canned: “There was a big guy sitting there next to our bench,” Hecker recalled. “He had to be 6-4, 250 pounds. He kept standing up, and they stand up a lot there in Oklahoma City, I can understand all that. But I said to him, ‘Sir, can you please sit down in a timely fashion because I can’t see the game?’ He says, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘I am one of the assistant coaches.’ I told him, I understand standing up, it is exciting, you are in the front row. But he was blocking everybody.”
Kelly Dwyer of BDL on Paul George talking up KD: “Durant didn’t score a single of his 36 points in an isolation set against George, and he didn’t get to the free throw line during a one-on-one move either. He simply run, cut and curled his way to a 14-23 night from the floor that would leave any MVP candidate (whether you’re referring to Durant or George) exhausted, much less one in George who had just contributed a 28-point, six-assist game in a win over San Antonio less than 24 hours earlier. Still … tougher than LeBron?” Keep Reading…
Straight to the listing of the players in an order that reflects how they played the last week:
1. Kevin Durant (last week: 1)
It’s getting monotonous just repeating, “he’s so very, very good,” so here’s a random stat I just looked up: Assisted by numbers this season for KD: five from Nick Collison, eight from Serge Ibaka, nine from Kendrick Perkins, 10 from Thabo Sefolosha, 13 from Reggie Jackson… 39 from Russell Westbrook.
2. Russell Westbrook (last week: 4)
Here he comes. Keep Reading…
Jump balls haven’t been the only thing the Thunder have had issues with at the beginning of games. It’s that the lineup on the floor after it hasn’t been very good either.
In 2011-12, which of course featured the Thunder’s best season because of a Finals appearance, the team was excellent but had an obvious postseason flaw — the starting lineup wasn’t productive. During the season, it was really good, allowing just 92.9 points per 100 possessions, while scoring 100.5 for a quality net rating of 7.6. In the playoffs, it flipped as they allowed 105.4, while still scoring about the same (100.4) for net of -4.9. A lot of people wrote about how Scott Brooks needed to change, but stubbornly, he stuck with the same group.
Last season, the starters were really good again, even sorting out a few offensive issues to put up an offensive rating of 109.3 with a defensive of 97.0 for a net of +12.3, making it one of the Thunder’s four best lineups. And it played together almost 1,000 more minutes than the next closest group. Keep Reading…