Spreading the floor is something that the Thunder organization has always struggled to do. Last season was different because there were times when the floor was spread, and times when the inside was jammed. It all depended on Russell Westbrook. Sometimes, his teammates just couldn’t get anything to fall which caused Westbrook to take the ball inside.
Floor spacing is important to be a successful team in the NBA. It’s something I believe the team has been working on, and definitely had moments of improvement last season. It’s both the job of the point guard, and the rest of his teammates. The point guard must spread the ball, but his teammates must knock down shots.
In a mid-season trade with the Chicago Bulls, the Thunder acquired 3 point threat Doug McDermott. There’s no doubt that McDermott was brought in to help with spacing on offense. He shot 36% from beyond the arc last year, though he didn’t play the entire season with Oklahoma City.
Acquiring McDermott was definitely a solid move for the organization, although I’m sure they’d appreciate more output from the small forward this season. His shooting percentage isn’t bad at all, but it’s about the volume of his shots. He averaged just over 6 points per game last year. Now that he is settled into the offense, I think he will have a much improved season this year.
In order to get a higher volume of shots, Doug must improve on his defense. Considering he is such a high defensive liability, it’s hard to leave him on the floor long enough to get some shots in. McDermott has to potential to be exactly what this Thunder offense needs. The question is, can he step up when he is needed? We will find out in 36 days.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.