The Oklahoma City Thunder are now sitting at 18-15 holding strong to that 7th place standing in the Western Conference. Last night was yet another heart palpitating come from behind win. Seems to be the theme of the season. With as gutsy and sometimes irritating as these guys can be, this roller coaster ride is absolutely fantastic.
Here are your Five Facts from last night:
- Luka Doncic is really good. But he can’t do it alone
At 20 years old, Doncic is flirting with a triple double average at 29ppg, 9.5rpg & 8.9apg shooting 48% overall. What OKC did well against him last night was allowed him to score in volume and eliminated his supporting cast. Nobody on the Mavs outside of big man Maxi Kleber made more than 3 shots.
- OK See how quickly they forget about Steven Adams?
This is the second game in a row where Steven Adams only had 7 shot attempts. I cannot stress this enough, you get big numbers when Adams gets big attempts. Win against the Clippers: 20pts & 17 boards; Win against the Hornets: 14pts and 12 boards. Both games with 9 or more attempts. Give this man 10-15 shots and he will produce 15-20 points a night. Adams is one of the last back-to-the-basket bigs in the league. Gotta use him to abuse these undersize big men.
- The 3rd quarter and the last 5 minutes are when the game is won. The effort was there…just almost too late.
Chris Paul helped lead a 4th quarter charge that saw him drop 13 points in the final period (including 9 straight at one point), and seeing Gallo put up 20 in his first game back was solid. Now…if the Thunder could play buzzer to buzzer like this, there would be no need for the late game miracles. But that is what makes this so much fun.
- The Thunder love trying to orchestrate comebacks.
The are of “playing possum” is not lost on the team. They seem to have fun coming from double digit deficits in an effort to suck the life out of the opposing team in late game situations. However, if they cannot have a buzzer to buzzer mindset come April, it’ll be a quick trip to the postseason.
- Dennis Schröder is a young 6th Man Legend.
Schroder reminds me of a young Lou Williams or Jamal Crawford. A guy who can come off the bench, provide you with a scoring boost that is necessary and plays the role well on both sides of the ball. He’s not coming in with ego, because he knows that he’s necessary to the gameplan of success when it comes to OKC’s playoff aspirations. This is the best his numbers have been in 2-3 years and at only 26, the man’s ceiling is higher than we think.
The first game of 2020 sees OKC traveling to San Antonio to take on the Spurs. A team who’s won 7 of their last 11 games and is now battling for a playoff spot in the West. OKC fell to San Antonio 121-112 last time around but the way the Thunder are playing, there could be a different outcome tomorrow night.