Four games won by an average of 25.5 points, all by at least 21. Four games where the average score was 114-88.
Pretty good week for the Thunder. Or another way to say it: The single most dominant in Thunder (OKC era) history.
There’s some positive momentum building as the Thunder head to the All-Star break, but in the NBA, your momentum is only as good as your latest win. Just because you’ve dominated four games, doesn’t mean you’re going to do it to a fifth.
A few stats from this week:
- The Thunder averaged 26.5 assists
- The Thunder shot 50.1 percent (173-345) from the field
- The Thunder shot 51.1 percent (41-86) from 3
- The Thunder turned it over only 45 total times, or an average of 11.2 a game
- The Thunder had 48 steals (12.0 a game)
There are two games left before the break (at Utah, home against Miami), which means we could forget about this impressive stretch very quickly depending on how they go, but in terms of pre-break, the Thunder have been terrific. Sam Presti has talked about a standard of performance in the past, and I think this week was as close as the Thunder have been to it all season long.
But as KD says, they could be better.
1. Russell Westbrook (Last week: 2)
The secret to OKC’s success: Westbrook needs to make eight shots in a game. He went 8-16 against Dallas, 8-19 against Golden State, 8-14 against Phoenix, then 8-15 against Phoenix again. It’s kind of funny: Despite not playing at all in any fourth quarter, Westbrook still mostly got his averages.
Another thing: Post-tantrum, Westbrook has been brilliant. His numbers since his eruption against Memphis: 23.0 points, 51.2 percent shooting, 5.8 assists, 3.2 steals, 2.6 turnovers. And he has played very level basketball, keeping his emotions and anger mostly bottled up.
2. Kevin Durant (Last week: 1)
Kevin Durant is such a choker. In the fourth quarter over his last four games, he hasn’t scored a single point and doesn’t have a single rebound.
But in all seriousness, because I care about such silly things, sitting these fourth quarters are really tanking KD’s stats. He’s the best fourth quarter scorer in basketball, except he’s had to do all his scoring in the first three because of OKC’s dominance. The last four games, Durant is averaging 20.7 points per game, but per 40 — which is about his per game average — he averaged close to his usual 27.9 points for the week.
His per game average is down to 29.0, putting Carmelo Anthony right on his heels (28.9). Blowouts are great, except for the stupid things I care about like stats and stuff.
3. Thabo Sefolosha (Last week: 7)
Much like Perk, it’s funny when a few big offensive nights catch our attention, but Thabo has been playing terrific basketball all season long, just minus the points. Against the Suns he posted identical 7-11 games, went for 18 and 20 and hit 9-13 from 3.
It’s a blip in the radar for Thabo to score like that, because he’ll go back to his usual role as Durant and Westbrook resume the load-bearing, but if anything, this week has served as a tremendous confidence boost to Thabo. He’s shooting the ball wonderfully and more than that, not afraid to fire. He’s shooting with confidence and conviction, something he’s struggled with in the past.
4. Serge Ibaka (Last week: 4)
In the month of February, Ibaka is 3-4 from 3. On the season, he’s now hit 11 of his 31 attempts (35.5 percent). That’s really impressive. Scott Brooks said it at shootaround the other day, but with the range Ibaka is showing, he’s really turning into a one of a kind player. A big stretch 4 that blocks shots and rebounds. There’s no other player in the entire league that combines that skillset.
5. Kendrick Perkins (Last week: 6)
Maybe it’s that he’s finally healthy after two offseason surgeries, but there’s no doubt that Perk is looking at good as he’s ever looked in a Thunder uniform. His numbers for February so far: 7.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, 2.8 assists in 25.8 minutes. That’s strong per minutes production.
And his defense has been stellar. A lot of people seem intrigued with Marcin Gortat, but all Perk did in that back-to-back set against Phoenix was hold him to eight total points in 49 minutes.
6. Kevin Martin (Last week: 3)
Did you know: Martin has shot at least 40 percent from 3 every month so far this season. Pretty impressive for a guy that was supposedly in a slump in January.
He missed a pretty big opportunity to go down in Thunder history with a flu-game against the Suns though.
7. Nick Collison (Last week: 5)
I’m still recovering from Collison’s -1 in a 31-point win against the Suns on Friday.
8. Reggie Jackson (Last week: 8)
His numbers for the week have been inflated because of the blowouts, but there’s no doubt Jackson has played his best basketball recently. And wouldn’t you know it, right in time for the trade deadline. I really think three weeks ago it was a guarantee the Thunder were making a deal at the deadline to solidify the bench. Now? I’m not sure at all. There’s a strong chemistry and cohesion building there, something that’s intriguing and makes you wonder if it’s better to just let develop rather than start over with.
9. Hasheem Thabeet (Last week: 10)
With the deadline approaching, how do you feel about Thabeet as your backup center for the postseason? Do you think he can play 8-10 minutes of good basketball in the playoffs? I don’t know, I’m really just asking.
10. DeAndre Liggins (Last week: 9)
Liggins really needs a nickname. Something to encapsulate his relentless energy and effort.
11. Perry Jones III (Last week: 11)
Again, Jones really just needs to be athletic. Every time he checks in, I’m expecting him to break out a next-level poster, but instead he’s focused on spotting up. He should be a guy that’s trying to dunk on everyone, someone that’s throwing down lobs, someone that catches your attention because he’s physically superior to most everyone on the court. His demeanor really doesn’t represent any of that, but Jones is a crazy athlete. He needs to use it more.
12. Eric Maynor (Last week: 12)
The difference in post-knee brace Maynor is obvious. It might be too late for him to get another crack at the backup guard spot, but he certainly has a little of his first step explosion back as well as his offensive confidence.
13. Daniel Orton (Last week: N/A)
He played 21 minutes this week! I probably should’ve included that in the stats showing how good the Thunder were this week.
Inactives: Jeremy Lamb