The Thunder take down Atlanta: Five Thoughts

Qdoba LongLast night, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated without too many problems the Atlanta Hawks, 124-109 the final score.

After a well fought first quarter, the Thunder made a big run in the second twelve minutes. Oklahoma City took advantage, not only of the lack of talent on this Hawks team but also of a really hot shooting night from behind the three points line. The Thunder outscored Atlanta 38-20 in the second quarter. Despite Atlanta cut the disadvantage to ten points during the third quarter, Oklahoma City kept its composure and one defensive stop after the other, they close the quarter with a fifteen points lead.

To start the last quarter, the Thunder increased their advantage to twenty-two points and managed without too many issues, to put the Hawks away and win the fourteen game of the month.

With this win, the Oklahoma City Thunder are now third in the Western Conference, 14-7

Five Thoughts

  • Russell Westbrook, in control

Last night, Russell Westbrook played another complete game. The Oklahoma City’s star finished with twenty-three points, nine rebounds, ten assists, and one steal. Westbrook shot well also from the floor: 8-15 FG, 2-4 3PT, 5-6 FT. Russell dictated the pace of the game when on the floor, he distributed the ball well, and most importantly he keeps playing engaged off the ball. If there is one negative aspect from last night, then it’s the turnovers count: five.

  • Alex Abrines, hot

After a tough start of the season, Alex Abrines exploded against the Atlanta Hawks and hit seven three-pointers on eleven attempts. Most importantly, all the shots were good looks. The Thunder are creating great shots for their shooters, but except few occasions, the ball didn’t go into the basket as much as expected. Last night, it has been an example of how dangerous this team can be when probably the best three points shooter is hot.

Thunder Hawks 2

  • Bench production, finally

The Thunder’s second unit was able to step up and produce at a high level. Forty-nine total points for Oklahoma City’s bench. If Schröder and Noel are quite a constant, it was really enjoyable to see Patrick Patterson score some points. The veteran had struggled all season long to shoot the ball, and before last night, he was on a 0-16 shooting run. However, Patterson finished the game with thirteen points, three assists, and three steals. Also, the bench played great defense, combining for a total of five blocks and six steals.

  • Three points excellence 

Entering last night’s game, the Thunder were rank last in the NBA in three points percentage at 30.7%. Atlanta, which is actually only one spot ahead of Oklahoma City in this particular ranking, decided to pack the paint and let the Thunder take shots from behind the arc. Well, it didn’t pay off. Oklahoma City took a total of forty-one three-pointers and made eighteen of them: 43.9%, way above the season average, and way more close to the percentage this team can produce.

  • November, high performance

The Thunder closed the month of November with twelve wins and only three losses. As mentioned before, the schedule has been friendly to Oklahoma City, but nevertheless, the Thunder beat teams they were supposed to beat plus some good playoff teams such as Golden State, New Orleans, Houston, and Charlotte twice. December is going to be a tougher month: The Thunder will play ten games on the road and only five at home.

Up Next:

The Oklahoma City Thunder will play in Detroit against the Pistons on Monday night. Tip-off 6 pm CT.

Photos by Zach Beeker and Scott Cunningham

 

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