Despite only winning 47 games last year and being the sixth seed in the Western Conference, the Thunder still improved greatly on defense. Sure, there were times when the defense looked horrible, but there were also times where it looked great.
Today, we are gonna take a look at a specific area of defense, taking charges. The Thunder finished 22nd in the NBA in charges drawn last year. Charges are an over looked part of the game. A simple charge can swing momentum, ignite a team, or even foul out an opposing player.
No one for Oklahoma City takes a better charge than “Mr. Thunder” himself Nick Collison. Nicky C is the king of making the most of his few minutes he receives. His willingness to sacrifice his body for his team should be an example to younger players. Collison is essentially an additional coach on this roster, but that doesn’t mean his experience and examples won’t be passed down to younger guys.
When you consider all of the offensive weapons OKC has, it’s easier to just stop there. However, I think the main focus will be on defense this year. The addition of Paul George will add tremendous help to the Thunder’s perimeter defense. I think a large amount of focus should be put on taking the charge. Especially with so many guys just lowering their head and going to the basket nowadays. It’s an easy play to step up and take a charge on.
As we are only 22 more days away from the beginning of the season, keep an eye out for more charges by the Thunder this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them finish in the top 10 instead of 22nd in the league.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.