OKC Defense Dominates In Chicago

The Oklahoma City Thunder (3-3) defeated the Chicago Bulls (1-4) 101-69.

The game, as predicted, wasn’t much of a fight. The difference of talent on the floor was way too big and too obvious. The Thunder set the tone from the jump ball and led the entire game without any issue.

As it wasn’t necessary to negatively overreact after Friday’s loss in Minnesota, it’s not necessary to overreact positively after this dominant win. Some issues, defending the three points line and isolation offense, are still there. It might still take a few weeks to fix them.

Thoughts and Stats

  • Russell Westbrook notched his third triple-double of the season: 12 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists. This is the first triple-double against the Bulls in Westbrook’s career. He is now the only player who has a triple-double against all the teams in the league. The only exception is the Oklahoma City Thunder.
  • I like the way Paul George played, very efficient. He took smart shots and he did not play too much isolation. His final stat line: 20 points (8-15 FG, 4-5 3PT), 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.
  • Steven Adams had another solid performance. His role with the team is growing fast, on both ends of the floor. His improvement on offense surprised me the most. Obviously, having three stars on the team helps to have more space to operate, but it isn’t only that: he seems stronger on the offensive glass, more confident, and has better hands.
  • Carmelo Anthony is the first new player in Thunder’s history to score 20+ points in each of the first six games. He shot 5-9 from behind the arc which is definitely very good, but he played way too much isolation with the second unit. Every time he received the ball in the post, he played one on one and took a contested shot. While he surely is capable of scoring on every possession, his shooting selection could lead to a more stagnant offense. This is something the team should address.
  • As I mentioned above, the Thunder have to improve their three points defensive coverage. The Bulls shot 6-10 in the first quarter from distance and missed an important amount of open threes during the rest of the game. If this was not an issue against the Bulls, it is a disadvantage against any team with a huge firepower like the Warriors or the Rockets.
  • Oklahoma City shot 44% from the floor, 38% from behind the arc, and 71% from the FT line.
  • The Thunder finished with 52 rebounds, 28 assists, 16 steals, and 11 turnovers.

Up Next

The Thunder will play on Tuesday evening (7 pm CT) in Milwaukee against the Milwaukee Bucks (3-2).

About the author

Twitter: @euro_thunder

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