Oklahoma City Thunder

Thunder Offense Dominant In Rout Of Knicks

Craig Hofeld

bustersbest09

RAPID RECAP

The Thunder jumped out early on the Knicks, which forced a few timeouts. Oklahoma City shot the ball extremely well in the early parts of this game. As for the defense, the Thunder was nearly suffocating the offense of the Knicks. Paul George led the Thunder to a quick 26-10 lead on 4-6 shooting. By the end of the quarter OKC led 34-16.

Billy Donovan decided to go with the all bench lineup to start the second quarter. I have never been a huge fan of this lineup, but today it wasn’t too bad. While it wasn’t the prettiest basketball, the second unit definitely held their own. Once the starters checked back in, it was game over for the Knicks. Russell Westbrook did not score in the first quarter, but he recorded 11 points all in the second. Oklahoma City held a 67-47 lead at halftime.

Oklahoma City was looking to put the Knicks away early in the second half. With such a large halftime lead, it wasn’t going to take much for the Thunder to be able to ride out the lead. Paul George and Russell Westbrook continued to score with ease in the third quarter, but the Thunder defense wasn’t quite what it had been. Despite the poor defense, the Thunder still took a large lead into the final twelve minutes.

The Thunder had gained such a large lead through three quarters that Billy Donovan was able to rest the starters in preparation for their game the following day against Portland. Abdel Nader continued his impressive performance with a barrage of three point shots. He finished the game with 16 points and 6 rebounds. The Thunder’s second unit coasted through the final quarter for a 127-109 victory.

THUNDER PLAYER OF THE GAME

Paul George is without a doubt today’s player of the game. George recorded 31 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. Not to mention he shot 50% from the floor and a perfect 9-9 from the free throw line.

Paul George has been lighting up the scoreboard all season long. Unfortunately, he went through a tough stretch where his offensive contributions decreased. However, his performance on defense remained solid. Here we are a few weeks later and Paul George is back to being himself when it comes to shooting the ball. Much like today, Paul George has been the MVP for the Thunder this season. It’s now time to consider him for the league MVP.

A COUPLE OF THOUGHTS

•The Bench Needed This Game.

The best way to describe the Thunder’s bench this is season is “inconsistent”. We have seen the second unit absolutely dominate at times, and we have also seen them get dominated.

Typically, this second unit goes at Dennis Schröder goes. When he’s feeling it, they’re all feeling it. So what happens when Schröder doesn’t play well? Well, just look at the Thunder the last two weeks.

The bench needed this win and this performance today. Multiple guys were contributing and everyone helped out on defense. Schröder led the way with 17 points, but Abdel Nader also had 16. Perhaps having a solid game against a lesser opponent is what this unit needed to get things going.

•OKC Can’t Shoot Like This Every Game, So Let’s Keep Up The Work On Defense.

The Thunder shot a fantastic 54.2% from the field today. We can’t forget they also shot 51.7% from three and 81.5% from the free throw line.

As awesome as that is, it’s not going to happen consistently for the Thunder. That’s why defense is so important for this team. We have often seen the Thunder come out and jack up a bunch of shots the next game after a great shooting performance. It will be key for this team to continue to be dominant on defense down the stretch. Let’s focus on defense, and the shots will and the wins will keep coming.

BACK-TO-BACK

The Thunder will be back in action once again Tuesday night as they take on the Portland Trailblazers in Oklahoma City. The game will tip-off at 7:00 PM CST and will be televised on FSOK. It will also be broadcast on the radio on WWLS 98.1 FM.

The Trailblazers always seem to give the Thunder issues. Portland simply matches up well with Oklahoma City. After coming off of the first win in nearly five years in Portland, the Thunder will be looking to keep the momentum going with a win at home.

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