My Problem With OKC
Haha I have a problem with OKC but I don't know what it is really... I love watching them cause they're young, competitive and exciting (Both good and bad (i.e Westbrooks blowups, Ibakas karate chops)) But I mean they are a pretty young team, The Big 3 on their squad are KD, Westbrook and Ibaka who are 24, 24 and 23 respectively. Their next 4 guys are quality starting Vets in this league (Even tho you Perkins haters are out there, im with you, but he is still "solid") Perkins(28yo), Martin(29yo), Thabo(28yo) and Collison(33yo). Then you got an even younger crop of guys like Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb, Deandre Liggins, Perry Jones, Daniel Orton and Thabeet who are all rooks/sophs with the exception of Thabeet. Lets just round it out and add Brewer and Fisher cause theyre both role players. So without Daniel Orton they can play 14 guys without dropping talent wise.
They need to package some guys and upgrade somehow (A trade i was hoping for was Martin and Perry to indy for David West (provides better inside scoring, pick and pop and a Vet)). But thats old news.
My problem is that while they are mostly a 1 on 1 type team, Westbrook and Durant pretty much take turns shooting and when the other calls for the ball and dont get it its like they throw their hands up like whatever. (and i know everyone on here knows this) But i feel like theyre always going to be that team that has a great record and Beat teams with theyre style and win theyre fair share of close games cause of their great players but also lose their fair share cause of selfishness. The veteran teams dont mind losing those close games during the Reg season cause the thunder will keep doin what they do, But come playoff time its a whole new ball game. Vet teams like Spurs and Grizz wont get caught up in their style and will force others on Thunder to beat them, and teams like Clips, Nuggets, Warriors can hang with them in transition and have great games like them.
I feel They have the best team in the NBA talent wise both now and longterm up and down the roster but you cant play 14 guys a game. They need to make moves and find a good group to mesh well and play move fluidly.
Reggie Jackson is looking solid with the more Playing time he gets. Hes quite the freak of nature and the Eric Maynor trade makes alot of sense. Hes like a Mini Me to Westbrook, and with all the Eric Bledsoe hype he even looks like the next Freakish PG to get all the hype (too bad it wont happen cause Westbrook never misses a friggin game).
That's the reason they drafted Jackson, they felt his game resembled Westbrook. This way when he subs in the game for Russell, they wouldn't have to alter their game plan as much.
My problem with them is that they have 2 guys who make shots. Granted both are elite level scorers, but my goodness if one of them got hurt, this team would be screwed.
I wonder how that is going to affect them come playoff time against teams that really defend hard. If one of Westbrook or Durant has an off game, they don't have a guy who can really fill it up after them. Martin is a nice piece, but he's not the same kind of creator that Harden was as a player who could get the other guys easy shots. His presence allowed for Durant and Westbrook to take possessions off and rest at times. Come playoff time I wonder if those two are going to wear down because they are litterally going to have to take 80% of the teams shots.
OKC Big men dont hit the boards like they should...Ibarka is averaging only 7 this year..In his last 30 games he's had 6 double figure rebounding games...And he's the reason why OKC got rid of Harden,becuz they felt his defense,shot blocking and rebounding was more important......
And Perkins is averaging only 6 rbs this year...He has hit double figures in rebounds in only 5 of his last 30 games....
Great team, poor coach. That´s for me the bottom line with OKC.
Problem is that they a rather similar to MIA, with a great SF, a great G and a good big man: except that James, Wade and Bosh are better.
They could use a low post scorer.
I like Kevin Martin's outside shooting so right now he isn't a bad third option. But, you guys are right in that they only have 2 real offensive weapons. Although I think they need a low post scoring option more than they need another perimeter option.
If they get the Raptors pick then need to get a low post big man who can score inside.
I also want to see Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb more. I think they should have been playing more. Their time is NOW and those are two guys who can even help out THIS YEAR. I think they need some young guns off the bench. Right now outside of Durant, Westbrook, Kevin Martin, and Serge Ibaka, their next best scoring threat is Nick Collison on put backs and mid-range shooting. ... I think they still need another offensive weapon or two.
I think a Westbrook, Jeremy Lamb, Durant, Perry Jones, and Serge Ibaka lineup would be freakish.
OKC is priming themselves for another run at 'ship, not in rebuilding mode. The best chance for them to win so playing Collison over Jones and Thabo/Martin over Lamb. These guys are being developed in practice/Dleague so in a year or two they can take over roles without this team taking a step back. Championship teams are usually full of vets, not teams leaning on rookies to round out their bench.
And 2 guys who score in the high/mid twenties, then 2 guys in the mid teens is very good. I mean you're saying they don't have a good enough 5th option? Who was Miami's fifth option last year? Battier? Haslem? The Lakers when they won? Fisher?
I brought up the Thunder's lack of a low-post scorer last season before the playoffs. It really is a glaring weakness when you watch them play. They get their points from jump shots and extremely difficult acrobatic plays as well. They are able to win by doing that just because the talent level is so high.
But everyone on this site knows that great teams get most of their points from easy baskets. Thats where a low-post scorer comes in. Low post scorers can give you garbage points, pick and rolls opportunities or post up moves when theres a mismatch.
No one is saying they need a Shaq, or a superstar. They just need someone who can do these things at a decent rate. Hell, even a Spencer Hawes type would be useful for this squad.
This site has the Thunder drafting WCS, which would be pretty damn perfect. However, he's still developing and probably won't be useable right away. I know that this team is great and they have time on their side, I just wish they would address this weakness already.
Spencer Hawes would have a very hard time getting minutes on the Thunder. He doesn't defend nearly as well as Ibaka, Perkins or Collison. He can make some shots and is a good passer for a big guy but he is Charmin soft. These are some of the #s opposing centers put up against him since the Sixers had their 7 game losing streak. Sam Dalembert 17 and 14, Pekovic 27 and 18, Amare went 9 of 10 from the field, Vucevic outrebounded him 19 to 1, Noah looked like Wilt Chamberlain with 23 and 21 and 11 blocks.
In closing Spencer Hawes can't really help a playoff team that much.
Hahaha yea. That was a breakdown for the ages. That's why I said a Spencer Hawes type - someone with his post scoring repetoire. That being said, if they got Spencer he would have limited minutes, but I still think they could incorporate him meaningfully in the right situations. Perkins would start, give him some decent d... then Hawes could come in if the opposing team goes with a small lineup.
Ideally, they would get someone whos not a defensive liability and with decent athleticism. Problem is, thats expensive and rare.
Lmfao " Noah looked like Wilt Chamberlain with 23 and 21 and 11 blocks." gotta love that
If OKC falls short again this year I can see them really trying to address their weakest link, which is Perk. I love him, and I loved when they brought him in, but he's just not the guy he was in Boston. Luckily they have likely the 10-12th pick in this years draft, and more assets then any team in the league to make a move to get the guy they want, hopefuly Zeller or Len. Either will give them another dimension to their offense, and I think after a year of playing 15-20min a game either will be able to step up and replace Perk in his starting roll.
It's been a long time since a legit contender was able to get a high lottery pick. If they continue their record of great drafting, this could be the move that moves them from great team to dynasty.
As much as I hate LeBron James, he's what a basketball player should look like. He scores a lot, but he gets his teammates involved and truly makes them better. He's not like Durant and Westbrook where he tries to go one-on-one the whole game.
LeBron is a playmaker like Magic Johnson and scorer like Michael Jordan. Nobody like him has ever existed in basketball so comparing him to anyone even Durant who is surely the 2nd best player in the world isn't really fair to them.
Durant has vastly improved his passing and has put up a couple triple doubles this year. He is averaging around 6 assists per game his last 10 games. Durant also doesn't have the ball in his hands all game like LeBron. They are different kind of players and Durant is more of a finisher. Durant's style actually helps guys like Russell Westbrook who need to have the ball in his hands to score. Westbrook wouldn't be nearly as successful if he was playing next to LeBron in my estimation.
I like what OKC is doing. They do need a low post player but with their speed they can get by without it. I would have loved to see them move Perkins and pieces for Gortat or Randolph. Reggie Jackson was a big time scorer in college and it appears with minutes, he can do the same in the NBA.
OKC is only missing a low post presence because they have everything else and more.
They are not a traditional team but they are still a great team. There is more than one way to win, MJ's bulls never had a true point guard and most of the play making was either MJ or Pippen. These players were also the top 2 scorers.
Russell has been posting up a lot, and he has that little baseline spin, glass over his right shoulder dowwwwn. A low post game definitely has to be Serge's to-do this summer. He has a nice touch so I don't feel like it should be too difficult. He needs to spend the summer w The Dream.
Perry jones is invisible when he's out there and he is definitely not playing in any important playoff minutes. Lol
Look they made it to the Finals last year. They have the third best record in the league (despite making a bad trade in the summer). They are young. They have draft picks and rookies to develop.
Seriously, what more do you want. They don't have Lebron James. Yeah, I get it. They will probably lose in the finals. You can't just go out and get whatever guy you want to fill in. It is tough to improve a team that is already this good. You want low post scoring out of your PF, then you can't play Ibaka. You want scoring out of your center spot. Well Brook Lopez and Hillbert just got max contracts. That is what you have to pay. You want shot blocking out of your center, McGee was $10 million a year.
There isn't really any solution except get to the finals (which means getting through the Spurs) and hope that Westbrook and Durant get hot.
I think they sort of have that Cleveland syndrome from the LeBron days. We are overhyping their role players for being pure mediocrity, when in reality most of these guys stink. Kendrick Perkins does pretty much nothing. Yes, he can guard Dwight. Thats about it. Thabo has improved this year but he is a 3 pt shooter and defender and nothing else. When you look at the bench, Jackson is still very unproven, and other than Martin, its basically a bunch of nobodies. Brewer fell out of NYK's rotation, Thabeet was basically nearly falling out of the league when they signed them, and the rest of those guys are young prospect types. And it's not like Ibaka is your ideal 3rd star and he's pretty inconsistent offensively. I just think the rest of their team would be nothing more than a lottery bottom feeder without them. Look at how Chicago can play without Rose, and with multiple other injuries all year and are still a playoff team. you think Thabo and Ibaka could hold the fort down for a 15 game spam? Hell no. They are extremely one dimensional, they run all isolations and have to get points in transition. And people forget how great Harden was against San Antonio last year, I think the Thunder are in for a rude awakening if those 2 meet up down the road.
My problem with OKC aside from the well documented lack of post scoring is Westbrook. He is a tremendously talented player but he is way too ball dominant. He has the best scorer in the NBA on his team who shoots 7% better overall and 9% better on threes, yet Westbrook takes 2 more shoots per game than Durant does. It's indicative of poor basketball IQ or selfishness in my opinion. To be fair Durant is not blameless in this, he needs to demand the ball more and be more of a prick attitude wise. To summarize, until Westbrook gets put into his place and realizes he is Robin to Durant's Batman, OKC will never reach their full potential.