Sunday, July 15, 2018

This Rollercoaster is High

The Oklahoma City Thunder started the week off by dropping a road game in New Orleans to the Pelicans 114-107. OKC shot 42% from the floor, that percentage dropped to 31% from three point land. Despite holding a 19 point lead at one point, and DeMarcus Cousins only playing 26-minutes due to being ejected after elbowing Russell Westbrook. Westbrook, shot 31% percent scoring 22-points, collecting 16-rebounds, and dishing out 12-assists.

After a night off, the Thunder returned home to take on Kevin Durant and the Warriors. Emotions ran high, as no love was lost between Russell Westbrook the fans and Kevin Durant. The Warriors small forward was booed every time his fingertips grazed the basketball, capped off with Durant and Westbrook going forehead-to-forehead in a screaming  match during the Thunder’s 108-91 win over the best team in basketball.

The Thunder grew their lead to 26-points at one time. OKC scored at a 45% clip and played smothering defense forcing 22 Warrior turnovers. Russell Westbrook turned in a 34-point effort to the tune of 48% from the floor. Westbrook grabbed ten rebounds but fell an assist shy of a triple double.

Despite the stat line from Russell Westbrook, Paul George stole the show Wednesday night, George held KD to 21-points, with 4 steals, and 2 blocks. George on the offensive end, scored 20 points, and hauled in 11 rebounds. It was an impressive victory one in which the Warriors pulled their starters and threw in the towel for the last 7-minutes.

All good things must end. Coming off the high of beating the Warriors, and the joyous Thanksgiving holiday, the Thunder came out flat on Friday losing to the Pistons 99-98. Russell Westbrook was bad, shooting just 34% from the floor, and taking a pair of terrible late game threes.

Carmelo Anthony shot 37% from the floor, while Paul George rounded out the big three shooting at a 41% clip Friday night. Saturday had to be better right? I mean, it can not get worse than blowing a 15-point lead while your team shoots 42%, right? Wrong. Somehow, OKC hit a new low.

The Thunder went to Dallas and dropped a game to the woeful Mavericks, losing 97-81. At one point, the Thunder were down 26-points. TWENTY-SIX POINTS to the Mavericks. Paul George scored just 2 points going 1-for-12 from the floor. Russell Westbrook scored 28-points, and Carmelo Anthony dropped in 16-points while the pair shot 47% and 50% respectively.

On the week OKC went 1-3, with their one win being against the best basketball team ever assembled. It just shows how frustrating this team is right now. They can play well enough to go up 26 points on the Warriors, blowing them out, while somehow dropping back-to-back games to the improved Pistons and dreadful Mavericks.

The Week Ahead

This week, the Thunder do not play until Wednesday when they take on the Magic in Orlando. On Friday, OKC returns home to take on the Timberwolves, they end the week on Sunday with a game against the Spurs in Loud City. Tony Parker is expected to make his season debut Monday against the Mavs, so he should be in the lineup for Sunday’s game in OKC.

The Thunder currently sit at 8-11 good–or bad–enough for the tenth seed in the West.

 

For more Thunder news, notes opinions, and updates, follow: @Rylan_Stiles on Twitter

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