While the Milwaukee Bucks dressed as pretenders, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s costume appeared to look as a team that found some really impressive things out as the Thunder thumped the Milwaukee Bucks 110-91 on Halloween night.
Oklahoma City Thunder’s offense was at its best against the Milwaukee Bucks. The ball was moving freely from player to player with Russell Westbrook leading the way with nine assists. Westbrook found Adams under the basket and cutting to the basket with ease. Westbrook was also able to locate Paul George and Carmelo Anthony behind the arc with his ability to draw opponents to him and then kick the ball out to his open shooters.
— FOX Sports Oklahoma (@FOXSportsOK) November 1, 2017
Defending at its best
The Thunder look to have found their blueprint on the defensive end of the ball. The pressure the Thunder applied on the Bucks was immense as they pressured their shooters sometimes going two to one giving them zero room to move. The Thunder also restricted the most inform player right now in Giannis Antetokounmpo to 28 points in the paint, OKC managed to get Antetokounmpo in foul trouble early which forced Bucks coach Jason Kidd to bench him.
Bucks struggling vs. OKC defense, which has looked its best all season. No Bucks player has more than one FG but Giannis 3:26 before half.
— Erik Horne (@ErikkHorne) November 1, 2017
Andre Roberson has struggled to find his groove in this newly built squad. Tonight against the Bucks it looked as if Roberson found it. Roberson was crucial in getting Antetokounmpo into early foul trouble and taking the Thunder to the next level they set as a goal in the preseason of becoming the best defensive team in the NBA. The Thunders defense has been good early in this season.
Tonight against the Bucks it looked elite, and that was because Roberson found his groove. With George and Roberson defending the wings, this Thunder defense can become that number one defense in the league. Without Roberson at his best, it was the third rank defense with a defensive rating of 96.3. If Roberson can continue with his new found form and not just fall back into his previous efforts, this team will be the best defensive team in the NBA.
🔥Dre lights up Q3. 9 points so far. pic.twitter.com/DsB3e5tzkr
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) November 1, 2017
Jerami Grant Control
Jerami Grant is a very athletic man. When you possess so much athleticism like Grant does you can be reckless when you attack the rim, but as Grant has found out, it doesn’t always go to plan. Tonight Grant displayed a new level of control to his game when attacking the rim. It was great to see Grant had been putting in the work to fix this part of his game. With the Additions of George, Anthony, Felton, and Patterson there was an infusion of experience pumped into this team by General Manager Sam Presti and it seems to be paying off with the younger players of this team like a Terence Ferguson, Josh Huestis, Dakari Johnson, and Grant.
Jerami Grant made a move and then took a controlled, contested layup.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) November 1, 2017
In all honesty, I couldn’t go two of these pieces in a row without a minus so here is my only minus of this game. Russell Westbrook had 12 points 10 rebounds and nine assists. Westbrook needed only one assist to record another triple-double, but Coach Billy Donovan decided to bench Westbrook for the entire fourth quarter. WHEN A MAN ONLY NEEDS ONE MORE ASSIST COACH CAN YOU PLEASE LET HIM GET THAT ONE ASSIST PLEASE!!!!. Now I understand it was probably a mixture of things that led to Westbrook sitting out the last quarter. Maybe it was a show of respect to the Bucks who threw in the towel benching Antetokounmpo and just playing their second unit. Or maybe Donovan decided to return the gesture, or perhaps it was just a player management situation, either way, I don’t care, please play Westbrook in the fourth if he only needs one assist Coach.
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It appears Westbrook will finish an assist short of a triple-double (he hasn't played yet in the fourth quarter).
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) November 1, 2017