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Real Plus-Minus in loss to Celtics

It was a disappointing night as the Oklahoma City Thunder blew an 18-point lead and lose a close one at home to the Boston Celtics 101-94. It was a dominant first half from the Thunder, followed by a very poor second half on both ends.

Plus (First Half)

Russell Westbrook locked down defender

In the first half, Russell Westbrook shut Kyrie Irving down. Irving shot 0-of-5 from the field. When Westbrook was drafted, he was a lock down the point guard, but over the years he went away from that and became an explosive scoring point guard. Well in this new Thunder team defense is the goal the team has set itself a goal of becoming the best defensive team in the NBA. Against the Celtics, the lockdown point guard returned especially in the first half, and if the Thunder are going to become the best defensive team, maybe he needs to be around a lot more especially if the second half is anything to go by.

Patrick Patterson

Patrick Patterson has had a slow start to his Thunder career. Patterson had his knee worked on in the offseason, and because of the early start to the season, he didn’t get the chance to have a preseason. It was a rough shooting start for Patterson, but in this game against the Celtics, it looked as if it might finally be clicking for Patterson as he shot 2-of-3 from the field at 66.7 percent and 2-of-3 from three-point range at 66.7 percent. Patterson is critical coming off the bench, and if he can start to hit his shots, he will be a great addition to the second unit with Raymond Felton, Alex Abrines, Jerami Grant and either Carmelo Anthony, Paul George or Russell Westbrook.

Minus (Second Half)

Foul trouble in the third

The Thunder fell into foul trouble early in the third quarter which put them on the back foot straight away after halftime. Celtics were then able to get there flow going on the offensive side of the ball because the Thunder had to let the pressure off. Westbrook who had five fouls to his name which forced him to back off his stranglehold over Irving which allowed Irving to get going and find his rhythm leading to a Celtics comeback and eventual win. The Thunder committed six personal fouls in the third quarter Westbrook and Adams having two each.

Shooting in the second half

The Thunder shot 20-of-42 at 47.6 percent from the field and 8-of-18 at 44.4 percent from three in the first half while also limiting the Boston Celtics to 31 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three. In the second half, it was a different story; the Thunder shot 15-of-45 at 33.3 percent from the field and 5-of-17 from three-point range at 29.4 percent. The Celtics went on to shoot 23-of-43 from the field at 53.5 percent and 8-of-15 from three at 53.3 percent. The Thunder’s defense fell off, and the offense fell off with it which adds to the theory that this team’s success is dependent on its defense because the defense feeds the offense.

Fall off in defensive pressure 

The Thunder’s defensive pressure in the first half was immense. The Thunder’s defensive pressure in the second half was non-existent. I don’t know if the Thunder got tired, just mentally fatigued or it was what I stated above, and they had to pull back on the defensive pressure because of foul trouble but there was a clear difference between the two halves, and without the defensive pressure the Thunders offense died.

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