A six-game winning streak. First in the Northwest Division. An MVP contender. The good times keep rolling for the Thunder.
THREE GOOD THINGS
Andre Roberson. The biggest complaint about Roberson is his painfully obvious lack of an offensive game. Roberson had a bit of an awakening in the Western Conference Finals last playoffs, becoming a real weapon as a roll man in the pick and roll, but still a three-point shot eluded him. This season, though, Roberson seems to be taking a step forward, even if slight. Though his conversion rate is only slightly above last season’s 31% (he’s making 32% so far this season), the bigger surprise is his improved confidence taking the three. So far, Roberson is putting up nearly 3 per game, nearly twice as many as he averaged last season.
Russell Westbrook. With yet another triple double against the Atlanta Hawks, Westbrook stretched his streak to six in a row. Only three guys have longer streaks in NBA history: Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan. Not coincidentally, the Thunder have also won six in a row.
THREE NOT SO GOOD THINGS
Free Throw Shooting. After being one of the league’s elite free throw shooting teams the last few years, the Thunder have struggled mightily from the line, culminating in Sunday night’s stinker of an effort, missing 13 of 26 free throws. On the year, the Thunder are shooting just 71.6%, which ranks 27th in the league. For the record, there are 30 teams in the NBA, so being 27th is not very good.
Opponent Points in the Paint. I harped on the Thunder early this season for allowing over 47 points in the paint per game. Since then, the Thunder gotten even worse, now allowing over 48 per game, second worst in the NBA (the Los Angeles Lakers are only worse by a mere 0.1 points). Even during the win streak, the Thunder allowed a massive 50.3 per game, easily worst in the NBA over that period.
The Worst Call in NBA History. Slight exaggeration, but after Kyle Korver runs right into Paul Millsap, Westbrook gets whistled for a foul. Hmm.
ONE MORE THING