Very solid win tonight for the Thunder. Chicago had a three game winning streak prior to tonight, with all those wins coming against top teams in the east—Charlotte, Cleveland and Toronto. But Westbrook, Adams and Kanter all rose to the occasion on the road and played nearly perfect basketball.
Westbrook did his usual Westbrook stuff, but was a rebound shy of getting another triple-double. He had 21 points, 9 rebounds, 14 assists and 1 steal. He didn’t produce his usual 31 points per game scoring output, but he really didn’t need to either. Steven Adams and Enes Kanter couldn’t be stopped.
The Stache Bros strike again. Steven Adams led the Thunder in scoring with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block. Watching him and Robin Lopez wrestle in the post was pretty entertaining. He was also able to throw down a few nice dunks tonight and really forced Chicago to try to clog the paint, which left shooters for OKC wide open. He was 11-of-14 for the night and I’m still trying to figure out how he didn’t shoot a single free throw that whole time.
Enes Kanter aka The Big Turkey was on fire tonight. He had 20 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block shooting 9-of-11 from the field. His footwork is about as good as it gets in the league. Tonight might’ve been his best game of the season. He didn’t look lost on defense and he was a monster on offense. The second unit has now started running everything through him in the post and it’s super effective. I really am interested to see how he performs against elite teams. Hopefully he can be this effective in the playoffs. He was getting double teams and triple teams thrown at him in the post, but he didn’t let that stop him, as he was +27 tonight.
Jimmy Butler was a game time decision and skipped the shoot around earlier in the day. He probably should’ve sat out this game. He only had 1 point tonight and didn’t play in the fourth. Gotta give him credit for going out there to compete, but it was obvious that he wasn’t feeling well. Dwyane Wade was the best player tonight for Chicago with 22 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 block. Michael-Carter Williams also had a solid game with 15 points. The Bulls were +11 in free throw attempts, but that really was the only facet of the game the Bulls won tonight.
The Thunder go to 23-16 on the season with this convincing win. They were +24 in points in the paint, +21 in fast break points and +12 in assists. That’s how you win basketball games, hopefully the team can use this momentum for the tough schedule ahead for this month.
- Happy Rajon Rondo Bobblehead Night! Michael-Carter Willams, Jerian Grant and Isaiah Canaan all saw playing time tonight, but no Rondo. That’s prettyyyyy awkward.
- It’s crazy that Westbrook’s stat line of 21 points, 9 rebounds, 14 assists and 1 steal doesn’t seem very impressive.
- Paul Zipster sighting tonight! And yet still no Rajon Rondo on his own Bobblehead Holiday.
- Payne went scoreless tonight in 14 points minutes. It’s really not very worrisome though. I think this was more of a result of Kanter and Adams being so efficient tonight.
- Joffrey Lauvergne played tonight! That’s always a good thing for this team. He’s almost always an immediate impact player when he’s on the floor. He’s not perfect on offense or defense, but he’s a net positive for this team overall.
- Robin Lopez should just be traded to the Thunder somehow before the trade deadline. The Thunder don’t really have a need for another big, but Adams, Kanter, and Lopez need to be on the same team. There’s no doubt in my mind that they would instantly get along. For comedic reasons alone this should happen.
Next up: On Wednesday at home against the Memphis Grizzlies at 7pm CST