The Bucks took a quick four points lead to start the game, 8-4, but Oklahoma City responded furiously with a 16-0 run and never looked back. The Thunder controlled the pace of the game, the ball moved constantly on the offense and they defended perfectly on the three points line. Props to Roberson, who got help from perfectly timed double teams by Steven Adams, who slowed Giannis Antetokounmpo down. Milwaukee didn’t have an answer for Oklahoma’s firepower on offense and wasn’t able to keep the Thunder away from the glasses. In fact, OKC out-rebounded the Bucks 46-31.
When the Thunder play this brand of basketball, their brand of basketball, there are not many teams who can stop them.
Thoughts and Stats
Andre Roberson played without a doubt his best game this season. He defended Giannis successfully which fueled his confidence on the offense. He cut to the basket, moved, and most important he was dangerous. Roberson finished with 9 points, 3 rebounds, and regained confidence.
This season, Russell Westbrook doesn’t have all the burden to be the only reliable offensive option, and this can be seen on his defensive effort. He looked more engaged in the past couple of games. He has the tools to be a solid defender, now that he can share the floor with other superstars. This being said, he finished only one assist shy of another triple-double: 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists.
It’s still early in the season, but Steven Adams might be the front-runner for the most improved player of the year. Yesterday, he scored 14 points (7-10), 11 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in only 27 minutes of playing time. He was everywhere on defense and unstoppable on offense. His pick and roll with Westbrook is becoming more dangerous game after game.
If we look at yesterday’s scoreboard, it seems like Paul George and Carmelo Anthony didn’t make much noise, but single game stats don’t always tell the truth. Both played a strong game on offense and defense. Carmelo Anthony looked again super confident with all the lineups he played with, while Paul George is getting used more and more to the Thunder’s system. Once everything will click, they are going to be very scary.
I thought the bench has been great last night. The team didn’t lose a step when the second unit came in. Despite there is always one of the big three on the court with the bench (Anthony so far this season), they are getting used to playing together. Patterson seems to have found his shot back: 2-2 from three last night.
Oklahoma City shot 49.4% from the floor, 42.9% from behind the arc, and 85.7% from the FT line.
The Thunder finished with 46 rebounds, 23 assists, 6 steals, and 15 turnovers.
The Thunder will be back at home on Friday night to play against the Boston Celtics. Tip-off 8.30 CT.