The Oklahoma City Thunder (31-20) came back from a 4-day break with a somewhat sluggish start against the Cleveland Cavaliers (13-39), but Dennis Schröder led the way as OKC was able to pick up the 109-103 victory.
Don’t Hate on the Schrödie
Dennis Schröder continues to prove to the world that he deserves vast consideration for the NBA’s 6th Man of the Year Award. Tonight was his 8th straight game of 20+ points, 7 of which he did off the bench, and tonight he poured in the 30 points for the fourth time this season.
After scoring just 2 points in the opening quarter, Schröder racked up 13 in the second quarter. He scored just 5 points in the third quarter, but then he scored 10 in the fourth to seal the win for OKC.
Last season, Schröder was good for these types of scoring explosions on rare occasion, but he has been much more consistent this season. Not only has he been consistent in his scoring numbers, but in his efficiency as well.
Schröder was 10-for-17 (58.8%) from the field—including 2-for-5 (40.0%)—and 8-for-11 (72.7%) from the free throw line. He didn’t just get points for himself, though. He also handed out 6 assists, and he pulled down 5 rebounds on his way to a team high plus-13 while on the court.
In the middle of Schröder scoring barrage, he was whistled for an offensive foul with 3:42 left in the fourth quarter, which ended up being overturned after Billy Donovan challenged the call. Prior to the call being overturned, however, Schröder was whistled for a technical after the call due to his reaction. His reaction? Sprinting down the court.
The call made no sense at all, and it was nothing more than a bad judgement call by the official. We can expect the technical to be rescinded by the league, but at that point in the game, especially during a close one, those types of calls are inexcusable.
Too Much Rest?
After OKC’s 50th game of the season—Friday night’s win over the Suns in Phoenix—the Thunder was tied for second in the NBA in most games played. Four days of rest followed before tonight’s matchup with the Cavs, and it seemed to have a weird affect on the team’s play.
After an incredibly tough January schedule, the Thunder desperately needed a break, but there is such a thing as too much rest. It can be challenging for a team to go from playing a ton of basketball in a short period of time to no basketball at all for an extended period of time.
Getting back into the flow of things can be difficult, but tonight was a good enough performance to get the win, and now the Thunder can move on to the next one.
Motor City in Oklahoma City
Next up for the Thunder is a home matchup with the Detroit Pistons (19-34) on Friday night. After losing 5 straight, the Pistons have won 2 of their last 3, but they are still struggling to find any longterm success this season.
Tip-off for that game is at 7 PM, and it will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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