Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost once again on the road, this time against the San Antonio Spurs, 112-121 the final score.
Here are the five facts about last night’s loss against San Antonio:
GALLINARI IMPROVES THE TRADE VALUE
Danilo Gallinari had probably his best performance of the season through these first eight games. The Italian veteran finished the game with twenty-seven points, five rebounds, one assist, and two steals. The impressive part was his shooting: Gallo shot 7-10 from the floor, 5-6 from behind the arc, and 8-9 from the free-throw line. Danilo Gallinari will be a free agent next year, and he will be traded most likely before the trade deadline. Games like this one will increase his value, and there is a great chance the Thunder will get something good in return.
DIALLO KEEPS ON GROWING
Hamidou Diallo is my favorite surprise of the season. It’s only eight games, but Diallo is showing a lot of improvements. We knew he was athletic and that he could jump out of the gym, but he smoothed his raw skills, and it’s paying off. Diallo is becoming a solid defender, never gives up on a play, and he seems to have fast hands. On offense, he has a lot to grow, but he can finish at the rim and doesn’t shy away from shooting the ball from behind the three-point line when needed. Diallo scored eleven points (5-9 FG, 1-1 3PT), and added two rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
ALDRIGE KILLS THE THUNDER AGAIN
LaMarcus Aldrige is probably the biggest Thunder’s nightmare. The Spurs’ power forward scored thirty-nine points while shooting 19-23 from the floor. To be honest it felt like he never missed a shot. Twelve of his made basket came from outside the paint. It didn’t matter if he was guarded close or not, he couldn’t miss. Now, it makes no sense to blame Adams, he tried his best defensively, it was just an unstoppable offensive performance.
OFFENSE OVER DEFENSE
We praised Oklahoma City’s defense in the first seven games of the season, but last night there wasn’t much of it against the Spurs. To be fair, the Thunder did a good job to start the second quarter when they held the Spurs to only two points over four minutes. Overall the Spurs scored only twenty-three points in the second quarter, but that was it. The Spurs shot 54.3% from the floor, 45.0% from behind the arc, 90.9 % from the free-throw line, and a total of thirty-four mid-range points. Impressive. OKC had a solid night offensively as well: 52.5% FG, 47.6% 3PT, 75% FT.
The Thunder have a very short rotation. Yesterday, Billy Donovan played only eight players (Muscala was in for only a minute). It will be interesting to see how this will evolve during the season because it is very unlikely that OKC will just keep this up. Maybe a trade will help to get back a couple of players which could actually stay on the floor, or maybe it will be finally some experimentation with the youngster Billy has at the end of the bench.