A back-on-track week of sorts for the Thunder, breaking a three-game skid with two solid home wins. Time to start cranking up for the postseason, time to start finding that standard of performance they want to play with.
Enough of that. Here are some stats I found interesting on the Thunder’s record when they achieve certain things. The Thunder’s record when…
- Shooting 50 percent or better: 19-1
- Shooting under 50 percent: 22-14
- Opponents shooting 50 percent or better: 1-2
- Opponents shooting under 50 percent: 40-13
- Opponents shoot under 40 percent: 13-0
- Bench outscores the opposing bench: 16-3
- Fewer second chance points: 15-9
- Fewer rebounds: 10-9
- In games decided by six or less: 9-8
- Durant scores 30 or more: 15-9
- Five players score double-figures: 17-2
- Durant and Westbrook each score 20 or more: 24-8
- Westbrook has 10 or more assists: 10-4
- Ibaka blocks three or more shots: 19-9
- More assists than the opponent: 28-3
- Fewer assists: 12-10
I’m not sure you can necessarily draw any massive conclusions from all that except it’s good to shoot better than 50 percent and hold your opponent under 40 percent. Do that.
1. Russell Westbrook (Last week: 2)
We might be watching maybe the best month of Russell Westbrook’s career. In February, he’s shooting 50.6 percent, averaging 25.1 points, hitting 45.8 percent from 3, dishing out 6.4 assists, pulling in 4.0 rebounds and he’s got 2.0 steals a game to go with it all. If Westbrook can avoid a horrific shooting disaster Wednesday against the Hornets, this would be the first month he’s ever shot better than 50 percent from the floor. Consider his percentages were a major concern early in the season, I’d say this is great progression.
Also, this stat blip: At home, Westbrook is shooting 45.7 percent from 3 this season. On the road, that number dips to 34.3 percent. Weird.
2. Kevin Durant (Last week: 1)
Not to pooh-pooh Westbrook’s February shooting achievements, but Durant is essentially averaging the same, but for the season with more points per game. He’s so ridiculous.
This week though, Durant was a bit more Westbrook-y. Just 19-49 (38.7 percent) from the floor for 20.6 points per game. He contributed in other areas though notching a triple-double against the Rockets and averaging 11.6 rebounds and 8.0 assists.
3. Serge Ibaka (Last week: 4)
Ibaka seems to be rounding back into his early season form. He was solid-ish against the Rockets, but very good against the Bulls. He gotten more active on the offensive glass, which is where he’s lacked some. With his size, strength and athleticism, Ibaka should be creating 4-6 points for himself every single game just on the offensive glass. Like I said last week, he’s seen a dip in scoring month over month, which is a concerning trend because there’s no question the Thunder are at their best when Ibaka’s filling a third scorer role.
4. Thabo Sefolosha (Last week: 8)
A career-high 28 against the Rockets that featured 6-10 from 3, then solid performances against the Wolves and Bulls. For the week, Thabo hit 8-14 from deep, which is absolutely tremendous.
5. Kendrick Perkins (Last week: 6)
Did you know: Perk is shooting 51 percent from 16-23 feet on the season. On career-high attempts per game too. It’s true. I looked it up. I now will question everything I’ve ever learned or observed in life.
Obviously, it’s his improved shooting form.
6. Kevin Martin (Last week: 7)
Consistency is becoming a bit of an issue for Martin, who like Ibaka, has seen his scoring average dip each successive month. He was OK against the Rockets scoring a very quiet 15, good against the Wolves with 19 and then not needed against Chicago, scoring only five.
Martin is a brilliantly efficient offensive threat, but I do worry a bit about the postseason. The Thunder are so obviously better when multiple pieces are involved, while Westbrook and Durant do a heap of the work still. But come playoff time, it’s not hard to envision an unintentional freeze out as the Thunder become a bit too two-headed. It happens a lot in close games.
7. Nick Collison (Last week: 3)
Nick Collison was really Nick Collisoning it up against the Bulls, tipping rebounds, diving for loose balls, taking charges and hedging hard in the pick-and-roll. Always nice to get a very Collison game.
8. Reggie Jackson (Last week: 5)
If Derek Fisher steps in and takes Jackson’s role, that would be twice this has happened. Wouldn’t surprise me if Jackson keyed his car. I’ve said it already, but I definitely don’t think that will happen as the team has been very happy with Jackson lately, but who knows. I didn’t expect Fisher to play 25 minutes a game in the playoffs either.
One thing I hope though is if indeed I’m right and Jackson’s job isn’t being threatened by Fisher is that Scott Brooks and OKC’s staff makes sure Jackson understands that. Because he’s clearly started to play with more confidence and swagger the past few weeks when it was clear he didn’t have to look over his shoulder wondering if Maynor was going to take his job back. With Fisher there, it’s natural for Jackson to worry if he’s losing his spot to him again. He’s got to know that it’s all his.
9. Hasheem Thabeet (Last week: 9)
10. Jeremy Lamb (Last week: N/A)
Those little glimpses in garbage time continue to keep me captivated with Lamb’s potential. He’s got so much offensive upside that I’m extremely eager to find out what happens with OKC’s shooting guard situation this summer. Is Lamb ready to take on that job? I don’t know, but he can shoot. And that’s already a big chunk of what OKC needs.
11. Perry Jones III (Last week: 10)
Jones hasn’t exactly impressed in his scrub minutes, but I like what I see from him. He’s aggressive offensively when he’s on the floor, consistently looking for his own shot and ways to score. I want him to show off that athleticism a bit more, but Jones is a player worth watching. He’s got big talent.
12. Daniel Orton (Last week: 12)
Is it just me or did Orton kind of look alright against the Bulls last night?
13. DeAndre Liggins (Last week: 11)
RIP DeAndre Liggins’ Playing Time January 2013 – February 2013.
Inactives: Ronnie Brewer, Derek Fisher