In the wake of Steven Adams’ concussion, Thunder fans are quickly learning the value he brings to the court. The biggest story seems to be the absence of his defense, which was very noticeable when Keep reading »
BOX SCORE The Thunder were the last team to beat the Clippers in 2016, but they failed to be the first team to beat the Clippers in 2017 as the Clippers win this one Keep reading »
Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider has Russ as an All-Star reserve: “Ideally, the West could have started Westbrook, Stephen Curry and James Harden and shifted one of them to the frontcourt. Alas, that wasn’t an option, so one of them had to be the odd man out.”
Ben Hoffman of the NY Times: “While Westbrook has significant leads over Curry in traditional game averages and most advanced statistics, the most telling number may be usage percentage, which is an estimate of the percentage of a team’s plays that an individual is part of while he is on the court. Westbrook’s 41.9 percent not only leads all current players by more than 5 percentage points, but it would also break Kobe Bryant’s N.B.A. record of 38.74 percent set in the 2005-6 season. But in the end, Curry, thanks to his popularity, his past success and his team’s stellar record, will start, and Westbrook, despite his myriad accolades and accomplishments, will be forced to come off the bench. For better or worse, that reflects what the fans wanted.” Keep Reading…
In the wake of Steven Adams’ concussion, Thunder fans are quickly learning the value he brings to the court. The biggest story seems to be the absence of his defense, which was very noticeable when Raymond Felton got to do whatever he wanted against OKC. What might be just as important is his offensive impact. Adams has clearly improved his offensive game on the block with his floaters and hook shots. Also his ability to finish alley oops is a huge part of the Thunder offense. Something Donovan has unlocked in the past few weeks is Adams on the fast break.
Shea Serrano of The Ringer: “When the Thunder are on offense, it looks like this: they’re swinging the ball around the 3-point line a bit, things are flowing, and then it ends up in Roberson’s hands and it’s like one of those time-travel movies they show on the Disney Channel where some kids travel back to see dinosaurs or whatever and someone hands a caveman a PlayStation Vita and the caveman is like, “What the f— is this?” and he just stares at it and flips it over and shakes it and whatnot. That’s Roberson when he gets the ball. It’s wild to watch. Draymond, who was ““guarding”” Roberson during the game, sagged off of him 10, 15, 20 feet every time. There was one play where Roberson caught the ball on the left wing and Draymond legit just walked to the bench and sat down while Roberson prayed for all of the electricity in America to shut off so he could just set the ball on the floor and walk away without anyone seeing him. I don’t like it. It’s a little embarrassing. I hope Roberson starts shooting soon.”
Brett Dawson: “Russell Westbrook took an inbound pass and cradled it. With the ball tucked, the Thunder guard turned to direct traffic, and he took a step toward his offensive end of the floor. Then he took another. And another. And another. He took five of them before the call came. Traveling. In the heat of a competitive game with the Warriors Wednesday at Oracle Arena, Westbrook had casually carried the ball to the free-throw line without once dribbling it. Westbrook pointed to his head as if to tell his teammates he’d spaced out. The play had gotten away from him. The game was in the midst of doing the same.” Keep Reading…
OKC showed a lot of fight tonight, with the game being tied 56-56 at halftime. But the Warriors outscored the Thunder 37 to 22 in the third quarter. In that time, the Warriors didn’t commit a turnover and their offense became about as lethal as it gets in the NBA. Without Steven Adams the Thunder had a pretty decent game considering their opponent, but tonight, being good wasn’t enough to outmatch the Warriors offensive arsenal. Keep Reading…
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Team Comparisons (per NBA.com/Stats)
Think back to the first meeting between these two teams on November 3rd. With three minutes left in the first quarter, the Thunder were up 29-19 after Jerami Grant brought the hammer down on Kevin Durant (and let him know about it with a cold stare down). Keep Reading…
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Kevin Pelton of ESPN Insider: “It’s possible to imagine scenarios in which a team could put enough supporting talent around Durant or Westbrook for them to lead a team to the conference finals without another All-Star on the roster. That’s a realistic outcome for this year’s Rockets, with yet another former Oklahoma City star, James Harden, and no other All-Star contenders. But true championship contention would almost certainly require another star to help Durant or Westbrook carry the load. That’s the reason why Durant and James have teamed up with other stars via free agency. So ultimately, Durant and Westbrook needed each other to win with the Thunder, even if they’ve thrived individually apart.”
Chris Haynes of ESPN.com: “Round 2 of Kevin Durant’s clash with his former Oklahoma City Thunder squad on Wednesday won’t be any easier than his first meeting on Nov. 3, a game the Golden State Warriors won easily 122-96. ‘It’s never going to be a regular game for me,’ Durant told ESPN in advance of his second go-around with OKC. ‘I’m just going to play. There’s nothing serious. We got the first one out the way, and we’re just going to play the next game.'” Keep Reading…
So, let’s start with something positive: the Oklahoma City Thunder went unbeaten at home this week. Problem was, the Thunder played just a single home game and went 1-2 on the road. The two road losses included a frustrating loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and a blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. On the season, the Thunder now sit at 25-18, ranking sixth in the Western Conference.
SIX THINGS FROM THE WEEK
Russell Westbrook passes Magic Johnson. Despite an awful performance (by his standards) in a loss to the Timberwolves, Westbrook notched his 19th triple double of season, exceeding Magic Johnson’s modern standard of 18 in a single season. Westbrook added another against the Sacramento Kings, and now sits tied with Wilt Chamberlain for seventh all-time. Keep Reading…