After the All-Star break, here we go with the eleventh appointment with Keeping Up With the Thunder, and my five takes about the past week of Thunder basketball.
After a few days off due to the All-Star break, the Oklahoma City Thunder played four games. They split the outcome with two wins and two losses. The two wins came against the Dallas Mavericks (116-108) and the Memphis Grizzlies (128-122). The two wins were close and fought games. This can not be said about the two losses. On Saturday, the Knicks blew the Thunder out 119-97, while last night was the Bulls’ turn to smash Oklahoma City, 123-102 the final score.
ANOTHER WEEK IN THE OFFICE FOR SHAI
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had another special week. It’s not just about the solid numbers, which he puts up every single night regularly, but it’s also his leadership. Last Sunday, SGA took the Thunder G-League team (No Dort, Bazley, Maledon, Hill, Horford) and led them to a win against the Memphis Grizzlies. Sure, it was not just SGA. Poku had a huge game, and the bench was outstanding, but it all started with the leader. This is another statement, another step for SGA’s development into a superstar. The road is still long, but he will get there.
MOSES BROWN, WOW!
Oh my, Moses! What a week for the young center. The twenty-one years old from UCLA showed what he is about. Brown can obviously dunk on everyone (he is 7-1), can score around the rim and from the paint area. Moses is not afraid to go after offensive rebounds, and he likes to run up and down the floor. From offense to defense and vice versa at a very high rate. On the defensive end, Brown is already a great rim protector (2.0 blocks per game in the past four games), but he lacks movement when it comes to defending outside the paint. Moses is still super young, especially for a center, and nobody knows how good he can become. For now, I leave you here with his stats: 12.5 points (60% FG – 80% FT), 10.3 rebounds (4.3 on offense), and Moses Brown is only the 2nd player in Thunder history to record 20+ points, 15+ rebounds, and 5+ blocks.
POKU SHOWED WHAT HE CAN DO
The rookie had a really rough start of the season. However, after coming back from the Bubble in Orlando, he looks more confident and improved. Sunday was finally Aleksej Pokusevski’s night. Poku scored twenty-three points while shooting the ball incredibly well: 7/13 (53.8%) FG 5/8 (62.5%) 3P FG 4/4 (100%) FT. He also added ten rebounds, four assists, one block, and one steal. Breakout-game. He is only nineteen years old, and he is still super far from being a final product, but Sunday was a glimpse of what he can become. Patience is the key.
Yes, let’s do it. It’s definitely time. It sucks to lose, but there is no other way for the Thunder to succeed in the upcoming future without taking as many L as possible. Coach Mark is already doing his best by benching the best players in some type of rotation (rest, light injuries, and so on), but this team fights every single night as hard as imaginable. Which is great for the culture, but it’s also bad for the draft. It will be interesting to see the roster after the trade deadline (March 25th), but it’s unlikely that OKC will win as many games as it did in the first part of the season.
- Hamidou Diallo has been traded to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for Svi Mykhailiuk and a second-round pick.
- The trade deadline is coming up and, Al Horford, George Hill, Mike Muscala, and Trevor Ariza will probably not be on the team when the deadline is passed.
- Thursday, March 18th: Thunder at Hawks
- Sunday, March 21st: Thunder at Rockets
- Monday, March 22nd: Thunder at Wolves