Tanking Diary: Bazley, Brown, Mykhailiuk Impress

After 12-straight losses, the Oklahoma City Thunder are becoming a hard team to watch at times, but on Wednesday against the Pacers, a very shallow Thunder lineup made the game interesting, despite a 122-116 loss.

A cast of Thunder players were to thank for this game being entertaining down the stretch and it was all predicated on effort. Darius Bazley, Svi Mykhailiuk, Moses Brown, and Kenrich Williams all had impactful games for the Thunder tonight, but the player that has enthralled most Thunder fans since returning to the lineup is Bazley.

During the bubble as a rookie, Bazley broke out as the potential secondary option of the near future, alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He was a fundamentally sound player that has just the right amount of pizzazz to make fans fall in love. Through the first half of this season, Baze hasn’t been consistent. After missing 16 games in the middle of the season, thus throwing his rhythm off, he’s played in seven straight and thrived.

Baze may not always shoot a high percentage, but as long as he’s aggressive and appearing confident while playing, that’s all Mark Daigneault wants. We’ve seen his aggressiveness and confidence pay off during this seven-game stretch, averaging 19.0 points on 42.7 percent shooting from three and seven rebounds per game, while also doubling down on the defensive end.

Baze was the high-scorer both on Wednesday against the Pacers, and on Monday against the Washington Wizards.

SVI, MOSES BROWN & KENRICH.

However, Baze wasn’t the only Thunder player that looked good on Wednesday. Svi was OKC’s other 20-point scorer, finishing with 20 points, 9 rebounds, and four assists for the game.

He’s a guy that continues to prove why he could last on the Thunder amidst this rebuild.

Both Moses Brown and Kenrich Williams play the same role for the Thunder. Although they play different positions, they are energy guys that simply give OKC what it needs on the court. Brown finished the night with his 10th double-double in 30 games, with 12 points and 11 rebounds, and a stretch where he went on a personal 7-0 run. Williams was OKC’s hustle guy, as he always seems to be, while also scoring 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including pulling down 7 rebounds.

The Thunder are on a historic losing streak and luckily, it’s almost over. There are only 13 games left but through those final 13, it’ll be essential to evaluate talent because a large portion of the team that’s playing right now, probably won’t be in OKC’s plans moving forward. But who will be? Possibly these four that I mentioned.

Addam M. Francisco

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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