The Thunder may have the most impressive (3-5) record the NBA has seen in quite some time. Six of their first eight games have come against playoff teams from last year, all of which are expected to be playoff teams this season. On Thursday, they dropped another hard-fought game to the San Antonio Spurs 121-112.
In our series of the Good, the Bad, the Ugly, the Good is obvious; good things that happened during the game. The Bad symbolizes what the Thunder did poorly as a team and the Ugly represents an ugly fact about the game.
And on occasion…we’ll add in a section titled ‘High-Rollers Klub’ to shine a brief light on a player(s) that did something noteworthy, in a positive way.
Here’s the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the Thunder’s loss to the Spurs.
Danilo Gallinari: Who was spectacular, and it’s perplexing thinking about how he didn’t get more than 10 shot attempts for the entire game. He was aggressive, attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line at will, shooting 8-of-9. He also shot 5-of-6 from 3, which would have undoubtedly helped the Thunder down the stretch.
The Thunder as a team: The Thunder as a team shot surprisingly well tonight. Their offense was clicking up until the late stages of the ballgame. As a team, they performed well, shooting 42-of-80 (52.5 percent) from the field and 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from deep. Outside of getting beat on the offensive boards (12-4), the Thunder were impressive offensively.
The bad directly tarnished the Thunder’s chances of winning this game. There was no way for OKC to stop LaMarcus Aldridge, who finished with an eye-popping 39 points on 19-of-23 shooting. It was insane to watch a player score 10 of his teams last 13 points, but Aldridge did that. This is the first time all season where I saw OKC’s bigs look unanimously inferior to an opposing big man, and that falls directly on the shoulders of Nerlens Noel and Steven Adams.
Also on the back of Adams and Noel was the lack of offensive rebounds, while also lacking on defensive rebounds. San Antonio outrebounded OKC 12-4 in this game, which resulted in tons of second chances for the Spurs.
The Thunder haven’t won in San Antonio since January of 2014. Yes, the Thunder haven’t won in San Antonio in five years. That’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Aldridge also seems to have his biggest games against the Thunder which may have contributed to San Antonio’s dominance over the Thunder at home.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chris Paul are learning to play off each other and coexist on the court. It’s a true work of art when they’re both clicking which they were doing tonight. The two Thunder guards combined for 40 points on 50 percent shooting and added 8 assists to that.