The Oklahoma City Thunder came from an impressive victory over Golden State blowing them out of the water to a depressing loss against the Detroit Pistons. The Thunder are unable to string a consistent efforts together. Russell Westbrook simply cannot gel with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. Westbrook defers to Melo and George until the game is on the line. When it is crunch time Russell tries to take over which results in the team losing. Thunder can play well when there is no adversity and a big lead. However when the team faces difficult situations OKC tends to press. Hence the Thunders record of 8-10. Oklahoma City Thunder is a sub .500 team which does not bode well for the wealth of talent on the team.
Carmelo Anthony and Paul George are supposed to serve as support for Westbrook. Unfortunately bringing the two seems like an early mistake. Although it is early only one player in the trio plays with a bend but don’t break playstyle, Paul George. Carmelo and Westbrook only know one way to play. Isolation basketball reigns supreme in Oklahoma.
OKC will not be able to beat quality teams in a series if “OK3” is unable to find the holy grail of basketball, ball movement. Billy Donovan is somewhat at fault by allowing the players to be comfortable playing a ball dominant style. Donovan must push the superstars past their comfort zone. The Thunder do not have a sense of making the right play instead they make heroic plays.
Everyone on the team plays hero basketball jacking up shots at a moments notice. Russell, Carmelo and Paul have yet played for each other. Thus no one is sacrificing for the betterment of the team. As a result the Thunder are a middle of the road team.
Thunder Have Big Names But Do A Lot of Small Talk
The Thunder Are ranked second defensively. Paul George coupled with Westbrook creates athletic wings who can get after the ball defensively. Defensive is not a huge problem as the Thunder are ranked 2nd defensively in defensive rating and opponent points allowed per game.
However, offensively OKC struggles mightily even with the talent on the roster. Most noteworthy if the offense continues to struggle the defense will suffer. Offensively OKC is below average ranked 17th in offensive rating. Oklahoma City plays at a slow pace highlighted by their rank of 18th at offensive pace. Points per game the Thunder barely score 103 which is 21st in the NBA.
OKC is playing an isolationist brand of basketball which does not leave easy opportunities. Hero Ball is in full effect and team basketball has left the building. Oklahoma City must fix their offense ASAP or they run the risk of disengaging the entire team. The Thunder have the second best talent in the West yet their are 7 teams ranked ahead of them in the standings. If the Playoffs began today Thunder barely make it. Billy Donovan has to get to work or Paul George is gone and Russell demands a trade.