THUNDER GRADES: Thunder fall to the Spurs

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma City Thunder have two more games before the All Star break.  The first game the Thunder face off against a familiar foe in the San Antonio Spurs.  Who always seem to give the Thunder fits.  Tonight was not that different.  Here are the post game grades for the Thunders 114-106 loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

Frontcourt grades

Steven Adams: C

The front court of Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel did not really do anything offensively.  While Steven Adams played 32 minutes and had only 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting for 44 percent to show for it.  He was also 2-of-2 from the free throw line.  Adams also grabbed 11 rebounds, four steals and one block. But his effectiveness was limited because of his five personal fouls.

Nerlens Noel: D

Noel was not a factor tonight. His eight minutes yielded zero offensive production. To make matters worse he had four personal fouls and one turnover.  Noel also managed to grab one rebound.  The Thunder have had the majority of their success because of the pick-and-roll game between Schröder and Noel, but that did not happen tonight.

 Backcourt grades

Chris Paul: A

The guard play is what kept the Thunder in the game.  Chris Paul dropped 31 points tonight and was our player of the game.  His 31 points was on 12-of-18 shooting for a 66 percent clip.  Chris Paul also was 5-of-9 from the arc.  So the crafty veteran did everything in his power to keep his team in the game.  Paul also being the great teammate he had seven assists, two rebounds, and one steal and a block.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: B

I thought SGA played a great game tonight.  He played 33 minutes and had 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting for a 54.5 percent night.  Alexander was 2-of-3 from three an 3-of-4 from the line.  He also had two assists and five rebounds.

Dennis Schröder: C

The future Sixth Man of the Year struggled throughout the most of the game.  The Spurs held Schröder in check tonight.  He finished the game with 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting for a 38 percent clip.  On the bright side Schroder was 1-of-2 from three.  He did not play well Tonight. Hopefully he can get it going.

The Thunders offense: C+

The Thunders offense did not play well tonight. That’s an understatement.  The way the first quarter started the offense sputtered to a 23.3 percent field goal percentage. That my friends, is a good way to be down to a team under .500.

The Thunder continued this poor shooting trend in the second quarter and for most of the game. The offense was stuck in the mud for most the game. Especially finishing at the rim.  Oklahoma City was two for eight at the rim.  However San Antonio was 8-of-10 at the Rim.

The second half was better for the Thunder as they seem to have come alive and shoot a higher percentage. In fact they tied the game 79 in the third quarter.  But unfortunately could not make the game any closer. The Thunder ended the game shooting 46 percent from the field and 36 percent from three.  The Thunder also scored 48 points in the paint, nine chance points, and 15 points off turnovers all categories that they beat the Spurs in. Well that’s one thing we beat them in tonight.

Defense: D

The Thunder Defense straight up struggled tonight; they seemed to be lost out there. Closing out on shooters seemed to not be in the Thunder agenda tonight. Shooting 48 percent from the field is not a recipe for success.  Also the Thunder did not stay in front of their man.  They fouled the Spurs 24 times and the Spurs made them pay by shooting 93 percent at the line.  Also they couldn’t stop LaMarcus Alderidge 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting for 45 percent. Dejonte Murray also torched the Thunder with 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting for 75 percent.  Man that’s ridiculous.

Overall: C

Although the final score did not accurately reflect the on how the Thunder played tonight they got a C for a grade overall.  The offense struggled most of the game.  The defense was not good during the entirety of this game. The Thunder should have won this game.  The Spurs are not a very good team.  This was a very winnable game.

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