Before you call me an unintelligent fan or NBA analyst, just remember this is written by a die-hard OKC Thunder fan who watches every single game.
The Thunder have been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. They beat really good teams and lose to teams they shouldn’t. As of now, they sit 6th in the West and are on a four game losing streak. There are serious problems in OKC and moves need to be made to fix these issues.
Who would’ve thought the reigning MVP would be part of the problem. Let’s look at usage rates in the NBA. Westbrook ranks second in the NBA (first 5 have played 1-2 games) with a 34.1% Usage Rate. We don’t see another Thunder player come in till spot 64 which is Paul George with a 25.1% Usage Rate.
What does this mean? Usage rate is defined as is an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor. In terms of OKC, this means while Westbrook is on the floor, 34.1% of plays run through him. That’s a lot especially for a Big Three.
Westbrook needs to be way more unselfish. Sure he leads the league in assists but by unselfish, I mean rotating the ball, passing, slowing the ball down, take less shots and letting the offense work. When OKC get the ball moving, its some of the best basketball you will see. Westbrook is not the problem, they do not need to trade him and in no way am I throwing hate at him, but if he makes a change, even slows down the pace one in a while, there will be a big difference in the Thunder play.
Ever since the Thunder have loss Andre Roberson, the defensive play has plummeted.With Roberson,the Thunder’s defensive rating is 96. But without, the defensive rating is 114. Thats a big drop-off.
The Thunder are 1-4 since losing Andre Roberson for the season. Terrance Ferguson in those five games: 2 points on 4 shots. Total.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) February 4, 2018
Playing Ferguson in the starting lineup has not worked, so they need a defensive menace to take on the role that Roberson played. Just play defense and shoot when needed. Here are a couple replacements:
- Tony Allen- Not the same dominant defender he used to be, but can take on the roleDthat Roberson had
- Avery Bradley- A great defender that would fit in Roberson’s position and upgrade the Thunder’s offense, but they would give up key pieces making their team weaker.
- Rodney Hood- Not as great of a defender as Allen or Bradley, but would upgrade the Thunder’s offense at a much cheaper price compared to Bradley
These are some of the best replacements for Roberson. I would include Lou Williams but I do see the Cavaliers pressing for him more vigorously compared to the Thunder.
Offense Play Style
Donovan’s coaching style is awful. ISO Ball. It does not work in the NBA. When the Thunder move the ball, it’s beautiful to watch. Nine out of ten times Westbrook, George or Anthony grab a board, bring the ball down right into an ISO. It may work sometimes but why not try to get better looks. This has to change.
The Thunder are still very much in contention for a Top 5, maybe Top 3 seed, but changes need to be made.
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