Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost against the Dallas Mavericks and interrupted their winning streak at seven, 96-111 the final score.
Against Dallas, Oklahoma City’s defense wasn’t able to compensate for its bad offense. The Thunder played good defense for most of the game, the first quarter has been tight, 23-22 in Dallas favor, but the second quarter was the moment when the Mavs were able to create some distance from Oklahoma City.
Dallas pushed their lead to twenty-four points with only two minutes left in the second quarter, 57-33 the score at that point. The Thunder were able somehow to place a 12-0 run to finish, an otherwise, horrible quarter on both ends of the floor.
The second half of the game was balanced, but the Mavericks always kept the lead, and the Thunder never seemed to be able to make another important run to really get back into the game.
It’s also important to notice that this was the 3rd game in four nights for the Thunder.
- Second Unit
The second unit didn’t play well last night. It all starts with Raymond Felton who, since Westbrook went down with the ankle sprain, is playing a lot of minutes and is taking way too many shots. The team is out of rhythm when he is on the floor, no ball movement, and he is calling “his number” on offense too many times. The other bench’s players didn’t do much more anyway. The Mavs’ second unit outscored the Thunder’s one 53-20.
- Offensive Struggles
This team suffers incredibly from Westbrook’s absence. It seems obvious, but without him on the floor, the Thunder look always two step slowers. Last night wasn’t different. The Thunder settled for a lot of contested-mid-range shots, which are not really optimal, especially when your shooting percentages are so low. Yesterday’s shooting splits are FG 39%, 3PT 26%, FT 61%.
If we can take away a positive aspect from last night’s game, then it has to be the aggressiveness on the offensive glass. The Thunder grabbed twenty-six offensive rebounds, only one less than the total on defense. Obviously, it’s easier to record many offensive rebounds when you are missing so many shots. However, it’s always positive to see a team fighting to create a second or third opportunity on offense.
- Steven Adams
The big Kiwi had another solid night, he finished with twenty points (8-11 FG, 4-8 FT), thirteen rebounds (seven on offense), two assists, and zero turnovers. The only area where he really needs to improve is the free-throw line. Steven Adams is shooting 52.5 % from the line, which places him last within all centers averaging at least 2.5 free-throws per game.
- Jerami Grant
Grant played a good game against the Mavs. He finished with thirteen points (4-6 FG, 1-2 3PT, 4-5 FT), two rebounds, two assists, two steals, and one block. A nice overall game. So far this season Jerami is living up to the contract he signed this summer. Since he entered the starting line the Thunder are 7-2 and Grant always scored in double digits. His improvement on offense is a big plus for this team, which really needs him on the floor also for his great defense.
The Thunder will play on Monday night, at home, against the Phoenix Suns. Tip-off 7 pm CT.