This wasn’t a must win game, but I would put it in the REALLY REALLY good if you win category, if for no other reason for confidence and the ability to build chemistry and trust with a team that might be without Victor Oladipo for a few more games. Well the Thunder answered the challenge and more tonight as they thoroughly handled the Suns 114-101 on a cold snowy Saturday night in Oklahoma City.
Russ Was Spectacular
It’s near impossible to accurately describe the game we just saw from Russell Westbrook. 26 points, 22 assists, and 11 rebounds. Those are jaw dropping numbers. Russ put the exclamation point on his night with the following play that should be shown on loop for the next century.
— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) December 18, 2016
I know Russ was tired of the triple double talk, but um… this triple double was special. Russ is also now nine triple doubles away from tying Larry Bird (59). Barring injury he should fly by this number this season.
Steven Adams Emergence
Steven Adams has quietly average 15.8 points a game over the last 6 games. I have no doubt that his hand injury was hampering him earlier this season, but as his hand heals I fully expect Adams to have more stretches like he has had over the last six games. I don’t expect him to average almost 16 points a game for the rest of the season, but 13 isn’t crazy. That will be massive as the Thunder bring back Oladipo and then likely make a trade as the season progresses. We are starting to see why the Thunder gave Adams over a $100 million on his rookie extension.
What Could Have Been with Devin Booker
Cameron Payne was 14th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, and while he might turn into a Mike Conley/Jeff Teague type player, Devin Booker was drafted one pick earlier. Imagine having Booker on this team. The sophomore is averaging 18.4 points a game while being the focal point of most teams defensive gameplan (He was guarded by Andre Roberson tonight). Booker went off for 31 points tonight.