Last Updated: 2017-11-10
The Oklahoma City Thunder added a pair of all-stars to their roster prior to the 2017-18 season. Along with reigning MVP Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George were supposed to lead the Thunder to a great start this season. However, they have lost four games in a row to drop to (4-7). Their three-game road trip was failure of epic proportions, losing each game by eight points or less. They have plenty of time to turn it around. Unfortunately, their style of play doesn’t seem like it will change for the better.
Once again, Westbrook is leading the NBA in assists with 10.4 per game. However, the Thunder are only averaging 21.1 assists per contest. As a result, Westbrook is producing half of the team’s helpers. Furthermore, they rank No. 20 in assists per game. Meaning, the Thunder are still not using the requisite ball movement to get easy shots. That’s highlighted by this four-game losing streak.
The Thunder are averaging 93.2 points per game during their losing skid. They are scoring 101.7 points per game as a whole. Clearly, something has gone wrong since the start of November. Keep in mind, the Thunder last won a game on Halloween night. They have also surpassed the 100-point mark in all of their wins. So far, the Thunder are averaging 107.5 points in victory.
Evidently, they need to score more points. But where are they going to get these points. Anthony leads the team with 20.8 points per game. Meanwhile, George and Westbrook are both scoring 19.5 points per game. Steven Adams is fourth on the team, scoring 12.5 points per game. Unfortunately, those are the only double digit scorers on the Thunder. As a result, the Big Three must create more opportunities for themselves and their teammates.
The Thunder are only shooting 50 percent from 2-point range. They rank No. 22 in the NBA from 3-point range, connecting on 34 percent of their long range bombs. However, the Thunder are chucking up 32 3-pointers per game. When you’re not shooting well as a team you’re only wasting possessions. Only Raymond Felton (48%), George (38%) and Anthony (36%) are above the team average. Westbrook is currently shooting 32 percent from long range. Furthermore, none of the stars are connecting on more than 43 percent of their shots.
Interestingly enough, two of their former assets are in the Top 5 of shooting percentage. Enes Kanter is shooting 64 percent with the New York Knicks, while Domantas Sabonis is almost at 63 percent with the Indiana Pacers. However, Adams is shooting 65 percent from the field for the Thunder.
Maybe their size is hurting the defensive backboard as well. Although the Thunder are a Top 10 offensive rebounding team, they are struggling on the defensive glass. They are No. 27 in defensive rebounding and No. 21 overall. It seems that those numbers need to get better for the offense to possibly have a better flow.
With a three-game home stretch starting this weekend, the Thunder need to find someway to win. They have a tough game against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Thunder also have two easy games against the Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls in the next five days. If they still can’t find a win, trouble will be brewing for the entire organization prior to Thanksgiving.
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