Author - Shannon Blake

Paul George more Nightwing than Robin

Nightwing is a DC comic book character who on occasion assists Batman in his endeavors but is not his sidekick like a Robin. Nightwing can work alone, and be seen on the same level as Batman on occasion. Russell Westbrook is Batman. Always has been always will be, but Oklahoma City now has a second superhero in town, and that superhero is Paul George.

In the NBA, “Batman and Robin” has become a thing in which media and fans use to describe a duo on a team, think Kobe Bryant and Shaq, Shaq and Penny Hardaway, or finally, one a little closer to home is Kevin Durant and Westbrook. In every one of those duos, something happened to fracture the duo, and they all went their separate ways. This new partnership in Oklahoma City though feels right, it feels like a perfect combination, a bit like peanut butter and jelly.

George and Westbrook are yin and yang. Westbrook is a force of nature that is coming at your neck every single night with no remorse, he keeps defenses on their heels whereas George is more of a cool, calm and collected kind of operator where Westbrook is loud, he roars, he is demonstrative where George is a silent assassin, a thief in the night.

George brings something special to the table, he is an elite defender with a defense-first mentality that pairs perfectly with Oklahoma City’s best defender Andre Roberson, who so far this season when paired with George, has made the Thunder into one of the elite teams in the NBA for defense.

This season George is having a career best year in three-point shooting, hitting 43.2 percent of his shots, while also shooting 44.8 percent from the field, that could be attributed to playing alongside an elite point guard like Westbrook. On the defensive side of the ball, George is in the running for defensive player of the year, leading the league in steals averaging 2.2 per game while also leading the league in deflections per game and total deflections with 4.4 per game and 247 deflections for the season.

George has brought something to the table Westbrook and the Thunder desperately needed after last season’s one man rampage. It’s someone Westbrook can rely on, someone to take a share of the workload off of Westbrook’s shoulders. When Westbrook passes the ball to George Westbrook can trust George is going to make the right decision in either making the extra pass or taking an important shot. Another problem George has assisted in fixing is when Westbrook has a seat on the bench, the lead is not going to become a deficit by the time he checks back in, like it was the case last season.

The skill George brings to the table more than anything is his elite defense. George is going to shut down the oppositions best player whether that’s LeBron James or Kevin Durant, George can and will compete with them on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. That’s what Westbrook was missing last season. It’s someone who can bring the fight and give the opposition someone else to worry about, and have to plan for when coming up against the Thunder.

With all the positives George brings to the Thunder, he also brings along a big question and problem.  He’s only contracted to be in Oklahoma City for the 2017-18 season. Then, he has the option to enter free agency. The people of Oklahoma will be praying to the basketball gods that Westbrook, Sam Presti, and the organization has done all they can do to make George want to stay in Oklahoma City, to continue on the battle to bring a championship to Oklahoma.

Some inside the organization saw this as an opportunity for Westbrook to rewrite a narrative that has been told about him. The incorrect narrative that’s “You can’t play with Westbrook.” People in the media point out James Harden who left through trade, Durant who left in free agency, plus a sleuth of other former teammates. The “You can’t play with Westbrook” narrative got louder after the George trade that saw Presti trade Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. Oladipo went on to become a first time All-Star this season for the Indiana Pacers. This season, Westbrook has gone out of his way to make George feel welcomed and wanted in Oklahoma City, a big moment came when George was snubbed for the All-Star team.

“Unbelievable. I think it’s just outrageous, in my opinion,” Westbrook said. “I don’t know who else made the team but got four people from one team, you’ve got guys complaining about getting snubbed until they get in, you’ve got guys just talking about it all the time.”

Then, there was this past weekend at the All-Star media day, when George was at the podium talking to the media, some fans decided to chant “We Want Paul! We Want Paul!” While Westbrook was sitting a short distance away talking to media he overheard the chants, and stopped mid-sentence to yell out “Paul ain’t going nowhere!”It’s over for that!”.

George to his credit has been very receptive and appreciative of Westbrook’s efforts to recruit him this season talking to Rachael Nichols of ESPN, George talked openly about what Westbrook’s words and actions have meant to him, and the effect they are having on his future.

“Russ is the reason why this decision is becoming, even more, easier to make, is the character Russ [has],” George said. “A stand-up guy and he has his teammate’s back.”

Paul George has shown he isn’t just a Russ sidekick. George is a star. He is a Defensive Player of the Year caliber player. George is worth the risk Presti took trading for him. Come the start of the 2018-19 season, if all of Westbrook’s hard work has paid off and George is in a Thunder jersey, the Oklahoma City Thunder are a real threat to becoming NBA title contenders. Especially, with a healthy Andre Roberson returning.

One thing has become clear this season PG is no Robin.

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Westbrook’s actions do all the talking

Through this road trip for the Oklahoma City Thunder, there have been constant questions about Paul George’s future and George has been very honest with his love for Los Angeles.
“You’ve got your stars courtside, it’s a historic building, the energy is great,” George said when asked about what’s special about playing in L.A. “And it’s a chance to really showcase yourself in one of the highest, best markets.
“It just so happens that that’s home for me, so there’s family, there’s friends, there’s teachers, people I grew up around. It’s just a nice environment for me.”

A lot of people have shared their opinions on what George will do and what Georges current teammate Russell Westbrook should be doing to try and convince him to stay Westbrook has his own opinion on what he should do.

Some of the talking TV heads didn’t like the way, Westbrook responded to the question of how he will try and court George to stay the loudest person to express their disdain for Westbrook was FOX Sports personality Colin Cowherd on his show “The Herd.”

If George wants evidence of a player building a brand in a small market while also helping out his hometown he has the best example sitting next to him on the team plane in Westbrook and he can look on this past week to see the evidence.

Westbrook released his first signature shoe with the Jordan Brand releasing the Jordan “Why Not” Zero.1s then later in that same week he opened up his 20th reading room in his hometown of Los Angeles at Highland Elementary in Inglewood, California with his WhyNot Foundation. As well as announcing he will be alongside his foundation opening up nine more in Los Angeles, Westbrook also managed to help out a Californian family by donating the car he won by becoming the 2016 NBA All-Star MVP after theirs had broken down.

This isn’t the first time Westbrook has helped out a family with a brand new car get also helped out a single mom in Oklahoma in 2015 with a brand new car from his 2015 NBA All-Star game MVP, Westbrook shared his outlook on his generous contributions to these thankful families.

“The basketball stuff comes and goes, “Westbrook said.” For me, it’s always been about giving back and finding ways to impact the community where you come from and impact the community all across the world. Me being on a stage that I’m on, obviously basketball is something I love to do, but giving back is something I love doing more.”

If George needs to know he can still do great things for his hometown from Oklahoma City he just needs to turn to his left. George knows who Westbrook is and how he goes about his business it would be strange for Westbrook to start acting differently and act like someone completely different.
Westbrook isn’t going to beg George to stay. Westbrook will let his actions do the talking and in the end that might be the best thing for Westbrook to do.
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Real plus/minus vs. in Thunder’s win over L.A.

The Oklahoma City Thunder had another fantastic night in the Staples Center defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 127-117 on the back of some fantastic shooting from Paul George and Carmelo Anthony and another triple-double from reigning MVP Russell Westbrook his 13th of the season.


PG & Melo

Paul George and Carmelo Anthony have been fantastic for the Thunder on offense and defense. George and Anthony have been shooting terrifically since December and that continued against the Clippers as George shot 12-of-16 from the field at 75 percent and 5-of-8 from three at 62.5 percent while Anthony shot 9-of-12 from the field at 75 percent and 50 percent from three on six shots. The Thunders offense has looked fantastic since they have figured out the hierarchy which has given Russell Westbrook the freedom to play how he plays which in return has allowed George and Anthony to find their rhythm and ultimately their shot. George finished the game with 31 points and Anthony 22.

Moving the ball

The Thunder did a terrific job of moving the ball on offense making the extra passes and making the right passes there was a play in the second half were Anthony had an open look from three and made the extra pass to Raymond Felton in the corner for a missed three it doesn’t matter the shot didn’t fall it mattered the intent by Anthony and the rest of the team for the game on a whole. Westbrook made some fantastic passes finding George and Anthony for threes and mid-range jumpers and also made constant effort to get rookie Terrance Ferguson shots and he was not hitting them in the first half but Westbrook kept getting him the ball and Ferguson started hitting the shot finishing with 11 points on 4-of-12 from the field and 3-of-10 from three. The Thunder had 23 assists for the game while having George and Anthony in foul trouble their could have been even more if not for that.

Having fun

I noticed in these past two games at Staples Center how much fun this team is having at the moment. Watching Westbrook pulling pranks on teammates while he is on the bench for example when coach Billy Donovan called a timeout he made sure Anthony couldn’t stand up by repeatedly pushing him back to the floor or the excitement the team had when rookie Ferguson was shooting the lights out and putting on a slam dunk contest earlier in the season there wasn’t a feeling of fun but that has changed and along with that has come chemistry on the floor and it shows through their offense scoring 260 points in 27 hours. This team is having fun and its great to see Westbrook having so much fun with George and Anthony the team seems to feed off of his emotions happy or angry. Westbrook even has the post-game interviews must see. CAUTION BAD LANGUAGE!


Points in the paint

The Thunder had a terrible night defending the Los Angeles Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin as they combined for 50 points on 18-of-34 shooting at 52.9 percent with Griffin also shooting 2-of-6 from three-point range. The Thunder lost the points in the paint battle 64-50 and it showed the Thunders lack of depth in the big man department as Steven Adams struggled in the first half against the Clippers. The Thunder did a better job in the second half limiting the Clippers big men to 20 points after giving up 30 in the first half.

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Real plus/minus vs Lakers as Ferguson shines in the city of angels

The Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the Los Angeles Lakers 133-96 at the Staples Center. The big three were fantastic but it was Terence Ferguson who stole the show in the second half scoring 24 points and going 6-of-9 from three-point range.


Terence Ferguson

Terence Ferguson was given the start against the Los Angeles Lakers after Andre Roberson missed again due to injury. Ferguson was phenomenal for the Thunder finishing with 24 points on 9-of-12 shots from the field at 75 percent while also shooting the lights out from three-point range shooting 6-of-9 at 66.7 percent. Ferguson came alive in the second half scoring all of his 24 points in the second half scoring 12 points in each quarter but it was the third quarter that Ferguson got hot from three scoring 4-of-6 in the third quarter. Ferguson has had a slow start to his career but coach Billy Donovan gave him an opportunity against the Lakers and he took it with both hands putting his name on the NBA map.

Big three

The Thunders big three looked dominant against the Lakers and they were also having fun while being so dominant and it showed through Russell Westbrook who was showcasing his handles making multiple Laker players look silly. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were fantastic from the field with George shooting 64.3 percent and Anthony 57 percent have really found their shot in the past month as Westbrook has returned to his aggressive play style while also being incredibly smart with his shot selection. George and Anthony both shot 14 times from the field while Westbrook took 17 shots showing that the Thunder have clearly found their balance on the offensive side of the ball.


The Thunder were terrific against the young Lakers shooting 56-of-93 from the field at 60.1 percent and 14-of-30 from three-point range shooting at 46.7 percent. The Thunders big three were terrific shooting a combined 27-of-45 from the field at 60 percent and 6-of-12 from three-point range at 50 percent. Terence Ferguson was also incredible shooting at 75 percent on 9-of-12 shots while shooting 66.7 percent from three. Earlier in the Thunders struggles, they couldn’t make shots but something happens in December and the Thunder figured things out and started hitting shots and their offense is looking fantastic hopefully it continues throughout 2018.


The Thunder did a terrific job of moving the ball around against the Lakers recording 25 assists with Russell Westbrook leading the way with 12. Raymond Felton did a fantastic job coming off the bench and giving the Thunder 10 assists and helped move the ball and keep the offense moving. Rookie Daniel Hamilton got some minutes in the fourth quarter and was able to also give the Thunder some great ball movement getting four assits by finding Dakari Johnson for some points in the paint. The Thunder have some great players that make great decisions and have the talent to make some fantastic passes and when they are moving the ball the offense looks lethal.


Absolutely nothing.

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Real Plus/Minus in OKC’s loss to Dallas

The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Dallas Mavericks 116-113 on New Year’s Eve. Russell Westbrook may have triple-doubled but the Thunder couldn’t defend to save their life. It’s easy to say that Oklahoma City may want to leave these type of performances in 2017.


Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook was fantastic for the Thunder in their loss to the Dallas Mavericks recording his 12th triple-double for the season and 38th for 2017 Westbrook finished with 38 points on 17-of-28 shots at 60.6 percent 15 rebounds and 11 assists. Westbrook’s most impressive contribution to the Thunder against the Mavericks was his passing, Westbrook did a fantastic job of making the right decision when making the pass there was one play were Westbrook drove hard to the basket making it look like he was going to slam dunk the ball or lay it in but he made the decision to kick it to the corner to Carmelo Anthony who was open behind the three-point line and made the basket.

Big three in the second quarter

The Thunders big three were phenomenal in the second quarter combining for 29 of the Thunders 31 second-quarter points shooting 10-of-12 from the field and going perfect from three-point range going 5-of-5. It was George and Anthony doing the scoreboard damage scoring 12 points and 11 respectively but it was exactly what the Thunder needed after losing the first quarter 35-32 and once again showed how high the ceiling on this trio really is.



The Thunders bench got completely outplayed by the Mavericks bench getting outscored 44-18. The second unit did lose Josh Huestis to the starting lineup because of the absence of Andre Roberson but Huestis wasn’t going to be the difference when you get outscored by 26 points. Once again we got to see a real flaw in this Thunder squad and that is in its depth. Sam Presti is going to need to work some of his magic again to get this team some depth before the trade deadline.

Points in the paint

The Thunder were outscored 46-34 by the Mavericks. The Thunder have done a fantastic job of winning the points in the paint battle this season but weren’t able to against the Mavericks. Steven Adams only managed to take eight shots for the Thunder which isn’t good enough since he has been so good this season for them inside the paint and something Westbrook and the rest of the team has to get back to finding Adams under the basket.


The Thunder turned the ball over 11 times against the Mavericks. The Thunder need to look after the ball at all costs and giving up 11 turnovers is just a little bit too much against a team that can get crazy hot at any moment you don’t want to give the ball up easily. It is something Westbrook has got better at this season he alongside the team needs to continue improving in this area. Steven Adams led the team with three.

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Real plus/minus from Bucks robbery of OKC

The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Milwaukee Bucks 95-97. The Thunder saw their six-game winning streak come to an end a blown call in the dying seconds of the game as Giannis Antetokounmpo stepped out of bounds only to come back in to lay the ball in for the go-ahead basket.



The Oklahoma Citys bench outscored the Milwaukee Bucks 32-13. The bench was well led by Jerami Grant and Raymond Felton as they scored 12 and 10 points respectively. The bench shot a collective 61.9 percent on 13-of-21 shooting also going 3-of-9 from three-point range shooting at 33.3 percent while also giving the Thunder six assits and three rebounds.


First quarter

The Thunder had a terrible start to the game shooting the ball 7-of-20 from the field at 34.9 percent and 1-of-4 from three at 25 percent. It wasn’t just the Thunders bad shooting that had them off to a bad start it was also them being careless with the ball turning the ball over five times in the first quarter. The Bucks used their length very well and the Thunder couldn’t get around them as they lost the quarter 38-18. The Bucks also out-assisted the Thunder 10-2 in the first quarter which was a product of the Thunder not getting their offense going with the absence of Paul George.

Three-point shooting

The Thunder were woeful from three-point range shooting 28 percent on 7-of-25 shots, Russell Westbrook was the worst of the team shooting 2-of-9 at a percentage of 22.2 one of the threes happen to tie the game late in the fourth quarter. After Westbrook had done such a great job over the past six games of limiting his three-point attempts he decided to pick up the slack of Paul George who missed this game against the Bucks because of knee soreness hopefully Westbrook returns to taking very little threes when George returns.


The Thunder turned the ball over 12 times against the Bucks five of those coming in the first quarter, which assisted in giving the Bucks a 38-18 lead in the first quarter. Westbrook was the main offender turning the ball over four times in the first quarter. The Thunder would turn the ball over three more times in the second quarter but managed to find a way to take care of the ball better in the second half only turning the ball over four more times all together which was a catalyst for their comeback.

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Real plus/minus: Thunder beats Toronto Raptors

The Oklahoma City Thunder got their sixth straight win as they defeated the Toronto Raptors 124-107 to improve their record to 20-15 for the season. This was a terrific win for the Thunder over a top-tier eastern conference team this team is really clicking now on both sides of the ball and it looks like the big three stars of Oklahoma City is enjoying their basketball.


Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook was sensational against the Toronto Raptors. Westbrook was in an altercation with Raptors big man Jonas Valanciunas that had the two men in a pushing contest. Valanciunas had no idea what he had just done he made Westbrook mad, from that point on Westbrook attacked the rim making mid-range jumpers and a freakish putback slam that had everyone in awe. Westbrook finished with 30 points on 11-of-22 shooting at 50 percent to go along with eight rebounds and 13 assists. Westbrook was fantastic when the Thunder looked like it was losing its energy Westbrook would pump them back up with a terrific assist or basket and then a steal or big rebound on the defensive side of the ball, Westbrook was tremendous at attacking the rim getting to the free throw line 10 times making eight of them.

Third quarter

The Thunder have struggled in third quarters this season after having good first halves the Thunder would come out and lack energy and focus but not tonight against the Raptors. The bench looked like they were going to fall back into that trend until Westbrook came back into the game and set the tone for the rest of his teammates leading the Thunder to win the quarter 36-25 on the back of four Thunder players scoring six points with Westbrook shooting 59.9 percent and Carmelo Anthony shooting 66.7 percent. The Thunder were also good on the defensive end getting three steals and three blocks to buck their third-quarter trends.


The Thunder finished the game shooting 46-of-87 from the field at 52.9 percent with all of the Thunders starters shooting above 50 percent with George and Adams being the best with George shooting 11-of-17 at 64.7 percent and Adams shooting 8-of-9 at 88.9 percent. The Thunder have seemed to of shaken off their early season shooting woes and become a more efficient shooting side in the month of December helping them go 11-3 for the month.



The Thunder bench got out scored 50-19. The Raptors bench was fantastic with CJ Miles leading the way shooting 6-of-12 from the field and three-point range at 50 percent scoring 20 points while the Thunders leading scorer was Raymond Felton with seven. The Thunders bench lacked the energy or aggression to keep up with the Raptors bench leading to the Raptors to claw back a 21-29 lead the Thunder had late in the first quarter for the Raptors to win the first quarter 38-32 and go on an 8-4 run to start the second before Westbrook came back into the game to give the Thunder some energy and aggression. The Thunders bench needs to get better at outscoring the opposition’s bench too many times the Thunders starters will go to the bench just for the bench to get dominated and put themselves in a hole.

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Westbrook becomes scoring leader in franchise history

During the celebrating of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 112-107 victory over the Houston Rockets on Christmas Day, a milestone went under the radar. Russell Westbrook passed Kevin Durant for all-time leading scorer for the Thunder with 15,967 career points, 25 more points than Durant.

The record does not include the Seattle SuperSonics history or Durant’s rookie season as that season he played for the Sonics. The Thunder moved from Seattle in 2007 in time for the 2008-09 season.

The all-time leading scorer including the SuperSonics is Gary Payton with 18,207 who played for the SuperSonics between 1990-2003.

With Westbrook signing his five-year extension in the preseason Westbrook has made the decision to become a Thunder/Sonics legend not that he wouldn’t already be talked about as one but Westbrook staying for five more years puts him in position to become the all-time leader in the history books.

Some of the records Westbrook is chasing are:

Games Played

Payton holds with 999 Nick Collison is third on that list with 902* Westbrook is sixth with 702. If Westbrook plays every game for the rest of the season he could reach fifth which is Jack Sikma at 715. If Westbrook plays his career average of 70 games a season Westbrook would finish with 1,052 games making him the all-time leader.

Minutes Played

Held by Gary Paton which is 36,858 Westbrook is fifth with 24,020. If Westbrook plays all 82 games playing his average minutes of 34.2 minutes per game he would play 2,804 minutes per season which would add up to after five more years 38,402 minutes making him the all-time leader in minutes.

Field Goal Makes and Attempts

Gary Payton leads with 7,292 field goals and 15,562 attempts Westbrook is fourth in field goals with 5,531 and second in attempts with 12,795. Westbrook averages 7.9 field goals on 18.2 attempts so over five seasons Westbrook could finish with 8,770 field goals and 20,257 attempts making him the all-time leader.

Three-Point Makes and Attempts

The leader of three-point makes and attempts is Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant with 1,143 and 3,009 attempts Westbrook is fifth in three-point makes with 760 and fourth in attempts with 2,429 Westbrook makes an average of 1.1 on 3.5 attempts per game so add five more years and Westbrook would have 1,211 in makes and 3,864 attempts making him the all-time leader in both categories.

Free Throw Makes and Attempts

Kevin Durant leads the organisation with 4,599 makes and 5,212 attempts Westbrook is second with 4,145 and 5,070 Westbrook averages 5.9 makes on 7.2 attempts which over five more years would leave him with 6,564 and 8,022 attempts which would make Westbrook the all-time leader.

Total Rebounds

The leader of total rebounds is Jack Sikma with 7,729 Westbrook is fifth with 4,468 Westbrook averages 6.4 per game for his career so add five more years at that pace and Westbrook would have 7,092 leaving him as the second most rebounds in Thunder/SuperSonics history.


Gary Payton is the all-time leader with 7,384 Westbrook is second with 5,630 Westbrook averages eight per game for his career over five more years Westbrook could finish with 8,910 making him the all-time leader. Steals Gary Payton leads with 2,107 Westbrook is third with 1,224 Westbrook averages 1.7 per game over his career add five more years and he would finish with 1,921 which would make him second on the all-time list.

Westbrook has put himself in a position to become the greatest SuperSonics/Thunder player of all-time by re-signing with the Thunder for five more years instead of leaving to go back home to Los Angeles to team up with a LeBron James or now teammate Paul George instead Westbrook decided if he was going to win an NBA championship it was going to be in Oklahoma City, if he didn’t win a championship he would be happy saying he was a one-man team and could say he gave his all to OKC.

Statistics are from

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Real plus/minus vs Rockets

The Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the Houston Rockets 112-107 on Christmas. The Thunder used their elite defense to limit the Rockets to 12-of-37 from three. Andre Roberson was the key to the Thunders win shutting down James Harden, getting four steals and two blocks for the Thunder.


Limiting Rockets three Makes

The Houston Rockets lead the NBA in three-point attempts at 43.1 per game. The Thunder limited the Rockets to shoot 37 threes at 32.4 percent the Rockets, only 12 makes tonight, are shooting at 46.9 percent on threes for the season ranking eighth in the league for three-point percentage. The Thunder did a terrific job on rotation and closing down on Rockets shooters. The Thunder had a season-high nine blocks which could have something to do with Rockets struggling from behind the arc.

Big four

Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams were fantastic for the Thunder finishing with 31, 24, 20 and 15 points respectively. Westbrook started out slow for the Thunder shooting 0-of-6 in the first quarter but found his shot to finish 12-of-24 at 50 percent having a terrific third quarter going 5-of-5 to keep the Thunder in the game. George and Anthony were terrific all night George on both the offensive shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 57 percent from three and the defensive side, Anthony was fantastic shooting 8-of-12 at 66.7 percent from the field and also 2-of-4 from three at 50 percent. Adams was the tone-setter early for the Thunder offense going 6-of-8 at 75 percent in the first quarter for 12 points. Thunders star stepped up again and made big shots when they were needed this team is finding its self and taking some big names while they’re still searching.

Roberson defense on Harden

Andre Roberson was fantastic for the Thunder guarding James Harden every time he was on the court. Harden is averaging 32.4 points on 45.6 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three against the Thunder Harden managed 29 points on 38.9 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from three. Roberson was crucial for the Thunder to win this game and he came up big time for his team recording four steals and two blocks, one block coming at a huge moment in the fourth. Roberson has received some flack from the media and fans about his lack of productivity on offense but tonight you see why Billy Donovan is so keen on Roberson on this team he shut down Harden while also giving the Thunder eight points on 75 percent shooting.


Fouling three-point shooters

The Thunder fouled a Rockets three-point shooter four times and sent them to the line 12 times with the Rockets making 11 of them. The Thunder have made this mistake consistently all season. They pressure the shooters well but get carried away and make contact with the shooter or the shooter takes advantage of the THunders pressure and falls into the Thunder defender which lets the opposition off the hook and gives them an easy three points at the free throw line or if the shooter is good gives them a four-point play. It is something Billy Donovan and the players have to address and fix.

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Real plus/minus in win over Utah

The Oklahoma City Thunder kept their winning streak going defeating the Utah Jazz 103-89 on the back of great games from Paul George and Russell Westbrook. George had an efficient two-way game finishing with 26 points, five rebounds, and six steals while Westbrook had a great all-around game finishing with 27 points 10 rebounds and 10 assists to complete his 11th triple-double for the season.


Paul George

Paul George was fantastic against the Utah Jazz scoring 26 points on 10-of-17 shots at 58.8 percent. George wasn’t only great for his scoring but it was his defense that made his game so fantastic but his pressure on the defensive side of the ball that was so influential and the reason the Thunder got the win over the Jazz. George recorded six steals and two blocks that gave the Thunder its defensive edge and shut down the Jazz shooters.

Defending three-point shooters

Before tonight’s game against the Thunder, the Jazz was the sixth-ranked three-point shooting percentage with 38.1 percent. Tonight against the Thunder the Jazz shot 6-of-26 at 23.1 percent. The Thunder did a terrific job of both pressuring the Jazz off the line and when the Jazz did get a shot up the Thunder were always there with a hand in their face and not giving up open three’s.


The Thunder had one objective coming into this game against the Jazz and that was to protect the ball and they did that. The Thunder had seven turnovers for the game which is just fantastic, the Thunder are averaging 14.8 turnovers per game, Westbrook was the key to the Thunder keeping the ball safe with his play and he did a terrific job of keeping control of his game. Westbrook finished with two turnovers for the game and did a great job of not getting reckless or trying to force the game Westbrook let the game come to him and it is exactly what the Thunder needed from him.



The Thunders bench got outscored 34-22 against the Jazz. Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson were the only players off the bench to give the Thunder any production finishing the game with six and nine points. Patterson shot 50 percent from both the field and deep shooting 2-of-4 and 1-of-2 from three.

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