Has The Thunder Regressed?
Seems like other teams out West are surpassing the Thunder, ala the Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, and even perhaps the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Thunder's bench is extremely young, and although their talented very rare does a young team win a championship. I'm scared the Thunder are regressing. Seems like every year or so they lose a key player, because they don't have the money to give a them. Ex: Jeff Green, James Harden, & Kevin Martin. Doesn't seem like their much of a title contender now. They have to heavily hope Jeremy Lamb is ready to contribute in a big way consistently, in a 6th man role for them to have a chance. That's a lot to ask out of 2nd year player, who barely played in his rookie season
Wolves have perhaps even surpassed the Thunder? Kevin Martin signing with Minny must have really shifted the balance of power in the West.
This by far is the most talented Timberwolves team I've seen pound for pound, even better than one that got to the Western Conference Finals, with Garnett, Cassell, Sprewell, and Wally's World. Also Rick Adelman is a very good coach, so I wouldn't count them out...Barring injuries, they'll make the playoffs and perhaps go deep
pound for pound wtf? this isn't boxing
seriously i was gone let this comment go, as i am writing still thinking i should have. You state the current roster is better than the one that went to the western conference finals? Maybe you got to exciting in making your point. Garnett cassell sprewell and wally. You named these guys that all have made an allstar team atleast once a piece when the league wasnt soft. That Four man team, you stated could beat the current wolves 4 on 5 with the current wolves using their whole roster and making use of substitutions. barring injuries theyll do better record wise but this is the same roster talent wise as the last 2 years,the only thing that makes them a little better is dieng being a consistent backup center and we gone have to wait to see if he can be that. Shabazz, forget the drama the media talking bout, he can play maybe selfish but can play to be honest is a better scorer that aK but overall impact im not sure if it will fill the void left by aK.
Simply 8th seed is the best they do if they make it, big if. would be bounced out 4-0 in the 1st round
Kevin Martin didn't shift anything. He's not going to make the Wolves better after they lose AK47.
They still have Westbrook and Durant.
They're still contenders.
I understood this was a very weak draft and they did need a big man but I didn't like the Steven Adams pick because he is raw and has a long way to go. Perkins is a liability on offense and although he is a solid to very good post defender and brings toughness, they need more from that spot or from the bench. I do feel like they areregressing but as long as you have KD, RussWestbrook0, Ibaka and HOPEFULLY Lamb is ready to contribute then they can remain a top 3 team in the west. The needle isn't pointing upward anymore, the time is now.
To anwser your question, no they haven't.
They still have Westbrook and Durant. I was amazed at how much Westbrook going down took out of them, but pending a quick and healthy return from injury from Westbrook they should be fine. They have the pieces, obviously they are confident with there lack of involvement.
Kevin Martin is a chucker IMO. Lamb will work harder and do more now he will get some minutes. He has to be hungry after being sat all last year. No one in their right mind can think he isn't ready. He will do better than good.
• They have two of the top 10 players in the league
• Ibaka is rapidly improving offensively
• Reggie Jackson showed he was a potential steal
• I don't see why Jeremy Lamb can't do equally as good as Kevin Martin did
• Sefolosha is still a top notch wing defender
• They have endless young talent on the bench that can only be expected to improve
• They no longer have Derek Fisher wasting minutes
• They still have Perkins
• Still don't have any post scoring ability
So to answer your question, no they did not regress. They are still an obvious top 3 team(as long as they are healthy). Considering the Cons above, they've had those same two issues the past several years and had no problems doing work.
I'm not going to sit here and say they improved this year though, but I think they will be right on par with last year. Which was a championship contending team that got unlucky in the playoffs with injuries. People seem to think just cause Thunder lost in 2nd round(100% due to injury) they're no longer a contender, it's silly.
1. Yes Durant and Westbrook are good, we know this.
2. No, Ibaka isn't improving rapidly. He has a decent mid-range game now. But if in a series where you were counted on to be the second best player you averaged something to the tune of 11-8, you are not that much better offensively. You are a guy who capitalizes on transition plays and alley oops.
3. Reggie Jackson also looked foolish in an escalated role. He's a role player, that's it.
4. Why can you see Jeremy Lamb being as good as Kevin Martin? Kev Mart has been in the league for years being a potential 20 PPG guy. Lamb was a D Leaguer who might just not be any good.
5. This means what?
6. Endless young talent? Where? I saw Derek Fisher and Collison as there 7th and 8th man last year in the playoffs. Jackson is mediocre, Jones and Lamb very well may just not be any good, and Adams averaged 8 PPG in the Big East.
The Thunder regressed. Replacing Martin with a D Leaguer is regressing. Will they be that much worse? No, but they certainly didn't get any better.
2. He began as guy no one knew about in the US and having absolutely no offensive game outside of dunking. He developed a mid range jumper very quickly and at a relatively young age, most big men that start off with no offensive game often don't ever develop a mid range game, and if they do it takes them until their prime or after to do so. He's now even added 3pt range, though it's not consistent or to be counted on he still has the ability to hit them, and will only continue to get better as a jump shooter.
3. You look "foolish" for these comments. Reggie Jackson is young and has had never had any serious burn in minutes. He went from 14.2 minutes per game to 33.5 minutes per game in the PLAYOFFS. That's a huge step, and a large load on anyone's shoulders. He didn't play amazing but he far exceeded most expectations and played very well.
13.9 PPG, .479 FG%, .897 FT%, 4.9 RPG, 3.6 APG, 15.64 EFF
Last I checked those are incredible numbers for a guy who's never started and only averaged 14 minutes a game previously.
Here's the efficiency ratings from all other point guards in the playoffs
• Mario Chalmers - 8.87
• Brandon Jennings - 8.00
• Deron Williams - 20.86
• Kirk Hinrich - 13.50
• George Hill - 14.22
• Jeff Teague - 10.83
• Raymond Felton - 14.42
• Avery Bradley - 6.17 / Jason Terry - 11.00
• Jeremy Lin - 2.25
• Chris Paul - 25.67
• Mike Conley - 18.33
• Ty Lawson - 21.17
• Stephen Curry - 22.50
• Tony Parker - 18.90
• Steve Blake - 13.50
According to this he was only outplayed by 6 point guards, yet he outplayed the other 9. When you consider all of these guys are starters and have been most of their career and all averaged more minutes per game than Reggie Jackson, I'd say Reggie not only did good, but he did great. But according to you he's just a "role player", he sure put those non role player point guards to shame though didn't he?
4. Yes Kevin Martin is a potential 20 PPG guy when he's a starter, but for OKC he came off the bench and only average 14 PPG. While I don't expect Lamb to average 14 PPG I do expect him to average around 12, and only progress from there. Yes it's possible he may flop and not be that good at all, but to say he doesn't have the potential to score 14 PPG in a year or two then you just must not have ever watched him play before. Outside of Reggie Jackson, Lamb is the only good bench player OKC has, he will be utilized a lot and expected to fill those Harden/Martin shoes meaning he will get a lot of looks on offense, whether he capitalizes on them or not is yet to be seen, but again I don't see why he can't.
6. I'll give you the Fisher one, because he's terrible and every time he went in I raged at the TV. But Collison is still a beast especially on defense.
"Endless young talent? Where?" Jeremy Lamb, Reggie Jackson, Perry Jones, DeAndre Liggins, Steven Adams, Grant Jerrett, Andre Roberson, Hasheem Thabeet, Daniel Orton, then a couple international guys in Alex Abrines, Tibor Pleiss,
I'd say that's a pretty deep list of young talent, some of them aren't very good like Orton, but some of them are. Some still have question marks, and some still need more time. But you can't seriously argue they don't have endless young talent. All of which are expected to improve every year, whether they do or not is to be seen, but that's what expectations are for.
They did not regress, they lost 14 PPG. Between Lamb & Jackson getting more playing time I can personally guarantee they will combine for more than 14 PPG. They lost Fisher, oh well? They lost Brewer, oh well? Didn't regress one bit.
How did they not regress if they lost their third leading scorer and added no one?
Have you watched Jeremy Lamb? Do you know why he never played last year? He wasn't any good. He was a good college player. But he doesn't have any of the make up of a guy who succeeds in the NBA. He isn't assertive, he isn't athletic, and he just isn't a lights out shooter to the extent where that can carry his career, hence why he wasn't on the team last year. I'm not saying he won't get better, but there is plenty of reason to believe he won't be good enough to average double digits in the NBA.
You can't personally guarantee anything. The bottom line is this, from the point the Thunder were in the 2012 Finals to now, they have undoubtedly digressed. They gave up one of the 10-12 best players in the league for two projects one of which couldn't play in the NBA last year, the other who could average double figures in college. It was a terrible trade, just like getting Perkins and paying him turned out to be a terrible trade. They will be playing 2 vs 5 in playoff games for years to come, and with the improvement of teams like Golden State, Houston, and the Clippers, and the stability of the Spurs it is going to be hard for them to win the West the next few years.
Again, you are a Thunder fan. So of course you are going to argue everything is fine. I am have nothing against OKC, but going from Harden, to Martin, to Lamb has been a digression. And seeing as that role is "The only guy other than Westbrook and Durant that can consistently but the ball in the hoop" it should not be under looked.
So who did they trade harden for? Thunder got robbed
They just gotta hope that Lamb and some of their younger pieces can hit thier stride when Durant reaches his peak. OKC isn't ready for a title run next year, but they're still young and Durant ( the 2nd best player in the league ) is still getting better every season. Westbrook should get healthy, OKC will still probably win 50 games, but they need to focus a little more on development because when Durant hits 26/ 27 or so then they want to have the best possible squad around him to make that push.
for Jeremy Lamb! basically.....
The answer to your question is yes, the thunder have regressed significantly this past season. Harden was the heart and soul of that team, he was pretty much the leader of that young squad. That trade will always haunt this franchise.
The Thunder were still one of the best teams in the West without James Harden. The biggest issue I've had from that trade is they never got enough value in return. Around draft time they could have gotten an expiring contract, rookie contract and future picks (hell they could've made a trade closer to what Philly got for Jrue Holiday probably and picked up Noel + 2014 top-5 protected pick and that is instantly better), that trade always would have been available. A Thunder team with Harden gets by Memphis imo and seriously challenges the Spurs. Instead, the Thunder took a risk that they could get to the Finals with only two reliable scoring options and it looks like they overpaid Serge Ibaka.
There seems to be a popular opinion amongst some basketball fans that they'll be fine and they'll get back to the Finals with Westbrook/Durant is taking the Finals for granted. The Finals cannot be taken for granted and with how strong the West is now, it's going to be very difficult just to get to the Finals, let alone win it. The Rockets, Clippers, Warriors and Spurs will all be in the running next year (I am convinced that the Spurs will always be in the running) with the Thunder to win the West.
I'm not sure that the argument should be whether the Thunder have regressed but rather just more teams got closer to their level, so it'll make their road to the Finals much more difficult.
The Thunder have regressed but they are still a top team because they have 2 of the best 7 players in the league. So they will still be formidable. The concern I have is not over their personnel but over their coaching. Quietly; Scott Brooks simply is an average coach who rarely makes adjustments in games. Anyone with a keen eye could see this last year vs. Memphis and the year before vs. Miami.
He depends on the Thunder out "talenting" the other team. For the Thunder to go where they need to go sadly they may have to hire a coach who demands more accountability from Westbrook and who can adjust to things in game.
Sorry; been wanting to talk about Brooks for a minute..LMBO! But they have regressed but will still be very good. In fact they will be top 3 in the West. They do have some young talent.
I worry about Serge Ibaka's supposed developing offensive game. His jump shot is developing but at 6'11 and athletic why doesn't he have a jump hook? Why is he floating out to the corner to shoot corner 3's?
Should have kept Harden and let go Serge...He didn't help them much vs. Memphis when they couldn't score.
they have not regressed, but they certainly have not gotten better. I dont think they can win a title next year, I think the spurs or the Clippers can and will beat them in the playoffs
They are still extremely young and I think they are trying to build a team that will be together for the next 7-8 years instead of 2-3.
What is the timetable for Westbrook's return? Even if he comes back quickly I don't see him being 100% next year.
The Thunder could end up being 4th in the division next year behind San Antonio, Memphis, and Houston. New Orleans will be
When you lose Kevin Martin and hope Jeremy Lamb can fill his shoes, yes you have regressed but they haven't been surpassed by the teams you've mentioned.
When healthy, OKC is the best team in the Western Conference until proven otherwise.
They haven't proven that w/o Harden.
According to this they were #1 in the Western Conference without Harden last year.