The Weekly Rumble

The We

This Week: 1-1 (1-1)

Date Team Score
10/3/16 Thunder 137
Real Madrid 142
10/5/16 Thunder 92
FC Barcelona 89

Where the Thunder was Good

  • Thunder shot 53.1% over the week. Essentially a brand new team, the Thunder relied on their size and athleticism advantage to generate easy buckets. An average 34 of their 80 field goal attempts were inside the restricted area, where they made nearly 68% of their attempts.
  • Thunder got to the free throw line consistently, averaging 29 free throw attempts per game. They made just 74.1% of them, which is a number that has to come up, but overall, you like to see the aggressiveness.
  • It’s easy to believe this Thunder team might be mid-range heavy given the roster, and this week showed that they can deliver from that area when necessary as they shot 50% on midrange shots outside of the paint.
  • Thunder lost a lot of length with the KD and Ibaka departures, but the long arms of Roberson and Westbrook are still around, and Victor Oladipo and Ronnie Price got into the action helping the Thunder average 12 steals per game. With the athleticism and transition ability this team possesses, steals and other live-turnover stats will be key going forward.
  • Domantas Sabonis. How ‘bout that kid, eh?

Where the Thunder was Bad

  • Thunder was one of the best offensive rebounding teams in history last season, averaging a robust 13.1 per game, however, the Thunder averaged just 9.0 per game this week (albeit Steven Adams did miss roughly 1.5 games). Yes, they shot 53% for the week, so that’s part of why the drop off is there, but they’ll need to average more than 9 offensive boards per game during the season if they want to be successful.
  • After having one of the better passing teams in team history last season, the Thunder showed none of the such this week, averaging just 19.5 assists per game. Sure, Russell Westbrook didn’t play a ton, and he’s the primary assist man, but you’d like to see that ball get movin’. Once this team develops a bit of chemistry, expect that number to rise.
  • Turnovers TURNOVERS turnovers. Thunder averaged 22 per game this week. That’s an insane number, even for a preseason game.
  • Last, but definitely not least: Perimeter defense. Boy was it bad. Real bad. Thunder allowed 17 threes per game at a 50% clip. Rotations have to get crisper, and they (hopefully) will, but even in the lowly preseason, you’d like to see a little more effort.

Player of the Week

Enes Kanter. Enes put up 26.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, and was relied upon heavily down the stretch of both games and he delivered. It’s nice to see him comfortable with the ball in those scenarios, but I’d still like to see him develop a better passing game out of the post to keep the ball moving at times. His defense was spotty, but I’ll let it slide by virtue of the preseason disclaimer.

What to Watch for

  • Thunder have about a week off to address some of their biggest issues, namely their 3-point defense. Expect Donovan to influence crisper defensive rotations and for the players to take more pride as we near the regular season.
  • Is Mitch McGary ever going to play in the preseason?
  • Is Mitch McGary ever going to play in the preseason?
  • Is Kyle Singler in the doghouse or is Donovan just getting Huestis heavy minutes? Singler got a big fat DNP in the Barcelona game. Coincidentally enough, the Thunder won that one.
  • It looks like the Thunder found their starting power forward in Domantas Sabonis. The guy has looked versatile and intelligent in the two preseason games thus far. Don’t be surprised if there’s a bit of a drop-off, but even still, Thunder fans should be really excited for this kid.

Things are trending...

Steadily. The Thunder somewhat corrected their poor overall defense versus Barcelona, holding them to just 89 points, but they’ll need to continue improving defensively on the perimeter.

Next Week

10/11/16 - @ Dallas
10/13/16 – vs. Grizzlies
10/16/16 – vs. Timberwolves


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