OKC vs. Chicago: Five Facts, No Bull

In my first official article covering the Oklahoma City Thunder, I want to thank all of Thunder Nation for welcoming me. I am honored to be doing this for the site and I am excited to see what this season turns into for us. We need something solid in OKC after the departure of Russ. Anyways, enough with the sentimental and emotional talk…let’s get to the facts.

1. The Thunder wait ENTIRELY TOO LONG to make things happen.

Chris Paul is probably my favorite point guard ever. He’ll be known as one of the all time greats when it comes to his IQ and passing, he can defend, shoot and takeover a game whenever he wants. The problem is, he waits too long to takeover in games and the rest of OKC follows suit.
When Paul is dialed in, you can not only tell with him but in the play of every other person in a Thunder uniform. He excels in elevating the game of those around him and it was evident after an abysmal first period that saw OKC score just 16 points. A quarter that CP3 looked lost in. However, the team jumped out and erupted in the second period for 33 points following up with the same scoring total in the third.

2. Steven Adams is misused and under appreciated.

For the third consecutive season, Kiwi has been voted by coaches as the toughest player in the league. He’s also shooting 61% from the field and can be dominant in the post. So why is it that he’s only getting EIGHT shots per game?!  Nine points and eleven boards on 50% shooting tonight in a come from behind win…get this man 12-15 shots per game and watch how the flow changes. Give the man the rock.

3. A long-time prayer has been answered…but Coach Donovan doesn’t know how to make it work.

Are you listening? Y’all paying attention? Hear me out…OKC HAS SHOOTERS AND SCORERS! Gallo, CP3, Ferguson and Schroder all shoot 34% or above from deep (Gallo a team leading 39%) and can score effectively. Billy Donovan has to find a way to integrate an offense that caters to those four as well as Steven Adams when personnel allows.

4. Chris Paul and Steven Adams have to perfect the pick and roll game.

For the first time in his career, Adams has a true point guard who can put the ball anywhere you need him to. However, the pick and roll chemistry between these two is nowhere near where it should be. With Russ, those two ran that P&R game flawlessly…when they ran it. And I know that these guys are nowhere near that level of chemistry yet but it should be coming along faster because when it is ran, Adams is unstoppable. And that would’ve helped put the Bulls away a lot sooner.

5. Dennis Schroder should be in consideration for 6th Man of the Year.

Statically, this is the best season Schroder has had in three years. Averaging 17-4-3 on  46% overall and 34% from deep, he’s gotta get a look. Tonight, he put up 18-4-5 on 58% shooting (66% from deep). Schroder was a big reason why the Thunder were able to rally back. Especially with his defense, adding two blocks and a steal. There’s a place for the former 17th overall pick in OKC. And we have to keep him at all costs if we’ll be successful in the future.

The Thunder came from behind to put away the Bulls 109-106 in a game that saw Chris Paul flirt heavily with a triple double and Steven Adams once again underperform due to underuse. The Memphis Grizzlies come to town on the 18th led by rising rookie Ja Morant. In a game that’ll help us get closer to .500, we need to be clicking and firing on all cylinders in order to to make the best possible game happen.

About the author

A Los Angeles native, AJ grew up watching sports from the age of two and his love for basketball and football never died. He started playing sports at age seven and went on through collegiate and minor league levels (local and overseas) as well. After nearly twenty years of athletics, AJ decided to hang it up and retired from minor league football in June of 2018. Since then, he has continued his love of sports by writing for the Suave Report as a sports and culture contributor as well as coaching and refereeing sports in the OKC metro area. He currently lives with his wife, Beth and daughter, Gianna in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, working as a coach and gym owner.

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