Thunder 98 Mavs 99.
Two tough Texas teams, two one point losses. Where’s the sunshine?
There really isn’t any room for big complaints or woes about the game. It was a hungry, talented Dallas team on their own home turf. Their superstar doing most of their damage, and ours doing most of ours. The difference in this game was the ten extra free throws for Dallas; we sent their guys to the line with shooting fouls. Durant and Nowitzki both had roughly the same number of free throws attempted and made, but nobody else on the Thunder took more than 4. Dallas had Josh Howard and Drew Gooden at the line 8 times and 6 times respectively. I’m not complaining here, just stating.
Kevin Durant did his 30 point thing again which is his 18th time this season and 10th time in the last 12 games, yet his shot was off tonight. Same delivery, same spots, it just wasn’t going down. I thought Shawn Marion really did a great job on Durant defensively, but that only goes so far, he can still elevate and score at will most nights, but tonight was a challenge for him and he finished up 6/18. He did get the double double though with 13 boards. More on that later.
It was pretty obvious that Dallas’ game plan defensively was to double up or even triple up Durant on most of his touches. That’s a good strategy if he can’t recognize the ploy and pass out to an open man, and that open man can’t hit the jumper. Not to overstate anything here, but the boxscore has a zero in it in the column for assists by Durant’s name. The passing game and learning to play the decoy sometimes will come with more experience. I don’t think for one second that Durant would rather pad his scoring stats than to get a win by making a great pass. That’s just not KD.
- Nick Collison had a double double tonight with 10 and 10, an assist and a block in 23 minutes. He’s really a quietly efficient super hero for the Thunder. Going into tonight he is a + 13.80 player per 100 possessions (the team is 11.38 points better on offense and 2.42 points better on defense when he is on the court) to lead the team in overall rating. Keep Reading…