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Five Thoughts on Thunder’s dominant win at Toronto 3/16/17

The Oklahoma City Thunder led wire to wire in a 21 point victory over the Toronto Raptors that consisted of some great team play from the Thunder. Oklahoma City have now answered their previous four game losing streak with four wins in a row. The Thunder are looking the best now as a whole than they have all season. Here are five thoughts over this dominant road win:

WESTBROOK WITH HIS BEST CAREER PASS

Russell Westbrook late in the second quarter, after stealing a pass on the defensive end, threw maybe one of the best passes anyone has seen. A full court bounce pass, through the legs of Corey Joseph, that landed perfectly in Victor Oladipo’s hands for an easy lay-up. It was even a great pass before realizing it went through the defender’s legs, and even though Westbrook probably did not mean to do that, it happened with perfection. Westbrook had many impressive passes tonight, but this one is and will be the best one you see from anyone all season long.

EXTRAORDINARILY SHARING THE BALL

Thunder racked up 33 assists in maybe their best game this season, in terms of sharing the ball. In this four-game winning streak, Oklahoma City has made more than just one or two guys a scoring threat, and that was apparent tonight as seven different Thunder players scored in double-digits. It starts with Westbrook, as he is racking up assists with ease, finding the open man every time. Thunder have also benefitted from guys like Steven Adams and Taj Gibson being able to swing the ball, such as by passing out of the paint. Offensively, the Thunder look more comfortable and confident than ever.

ANDRE ROBERSON FIRST TEAM ALL-DEFENSE

Seriously.

This guy, no matter who the opponent, brings it 100 percent on the defensive end every single night. Tonight it was no different, as Roberson made whoever he guarded struggle all night. Whether he was guarding Joseph, DeMarre Carroll, or DeMar DeRozan, Roberson was on them like glue all game. It’s also not just the individual defense, which is excellent, but it is also the defensive mishaps the Thunder have that are not seen because of Andre. Whether it is a rotation issue or a breakdown of some sort, Roberson always seems to make the correct play to keep the opponent from capitalizing. All season long, including tonight, Roberson has made the opponent’s best perimeter player struggle more than not. Roberson deserves to have his name up there with guys like Tony Allen, especially with the season Roberson is having, defensively speaking.

42 TRIPLE DOUBLES ISN’T OUT OF QUESTION

Around late January or so, I certainly thought Westbrook would get at least close to Oscar Robertson’s triple double record, but did not think he could break it. Now, I am not so sure about that. Westbrook recorded his 34th triple double of the season tonight in just 28 minutes played. With 14 games left, Westbrook needs eight to break the record. That does seem like a heavy load, especially at the end of the season, but it is becoming a perfect storm for Westbrook to break the record. He has made the triple doubles look effortless, and with the way Oklahoma City has been playing offensively, I am starting to believe he will indeed break the 41 triple double record.

OLADIPO CONTINUES AMAZING PLAY

As weird as it is to say this, it just might be true: The games Victor Oladipo missed after All-Star break because of back spasms, have actually helped his play. Even though it was unfortunate to lose Oladipo for a handful amount of time, it has now turned into a blessing in disguise. It gave Oladipo’s wrist plenty of rest and time to fully heal from a previous injury earlier this season, and it has shown in his offensive play as of late. Victor scored 23 points tonight, his fourth straight game with 20-plus points. He was also three for three with the deep ball, shooting 73 percent from long distance in his last five games. Oklahoma City are on another level when Oladipo plays like this, and he will be a huge X-factor when it comes to the Thunder’s playoff destiny here in a month or so.

 

 

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