On Tuesday, the Thunder played a bad overall game against the Wall-less Washington Wizards, then on Thursday a poor defensive performance against the Denver Nuggets (yes, Oklahoma City almost came back, but they still play poorly and lost), and yesterday, the Thunder weren’t able to perform again to their level against the New Orleans Pelicans. We absolutely have to take into consideration the tiredness factor, the Thunder looked gassed through half of the second quarter, but it shouldn’t be an excuse for the type of game Oklahoma City played.
After taking a sixteen points lead, the Thunder started to turn the ball over too many times, missed a lot of shots (especially from behind the arc), and disappeared on defense.
Oklahoma City is now 1-3 since Roberson went down with the knee injury and 30-23 for the season.
Steven Adams became indeed the third best player on the team, with Russell Westbrook and Paul George being the other two. Last night he had another great performance offensively, he finished with 23 points (team-high) while shooting 8-13 from the floor, 12 rebounds (7 offensive), and 2 blocks. Defensively Adams tried his best, but he has so much workload now that Roberson is out, that is crazy to ask him to do more.
Despite the fact that Westbrook recorded his 16th triple-double, he had a strange game. Russell started on fire, he was aggressive on the glass, he was finding his teammates, and he took smart shots. This was the first half. Then, in the second half, he started to turn the ball over (he finished with nine turnovers), he gave up easy shots while looking for an extra pass that obviously wasn’t there, and his defense was not existing.
After an outstanding performance in Denver, last night Paul George came back to Earth. He finished the game with 15 points (4-16 FG, 2-9 3PT), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. George didn’t take bad shots, they just didn’t go in.
I thought the Thunder tried to get Carmelo Anthony too much involved in the post (or in general actually) instead of looking for other options on offense (Steven Adams?). Anthony ended up with 13 points (6-17 FG, 1-3 3PT) and 9 rebounds.
Lately, Jerami Grant and Alex Abrines have played some solid minutes for the bench unit. Grant had another encouraging performance yesterday. He scored 12 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Abrines had 14 points on 4-8 shooting (all three-pointers). Is the coaching staff trying to get these two players more involved on offense to raise their trade value? Or getting more touches is helping them to get more confident on both ends of the floor and could help the team going forward? I think it might be a mix of both.
- FG% 38.1, 3P% 25.0, FT% 85.0, ASSISTS 24, REBOUNDS 52, STEALS 6, TURNOVERS 16
- FG% 51.1, 3P% 54.2, FT% 69.2, ASSISTS 30, REBOUNDS 41, STEALS 10, TURNOVERS 16
The Thunder will play on Sunday, at home, against the Los Angeles Lakers. It will be an early tip-off, 1 p.m. CT.
Cover Photo by Layne Murdoch Sr.