Getting rough for Thunder in November
NOV 15, 2013 9:42a ET
In addition to winning and losing in overtime in the same week, Oklahoma City also had a pair of wins, a pair of losses and a pair of players ejected.
And it's only November.
Here's a quick Thunder report from the past week:
What happened: A second-half lead disappeared against the Clippers and a last-second shot sunk the Thunder against Golden State. Tough two-game stretch after a pair of wins against Detroit and against Washington in overtime.
Saturday, at Milwaukee
Monday, vs. Denver
Thursday, vs. Los Angeles Clippers
Who's up: Anyone seen the week Kevin Durant had? He went for 37 against Detroit, 33 against Washington, 33 against the Clippers and then dropped off to 20 points against Golden State.
Durant went 9-of-15 against Detroit, made the game-tying 3-pointer against Washington and shot 12-of-23. He played more than 42 minutes in each of those games. In the past five games, Durant is averaging 29.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and an amazing 8.2 assists per game, while shooting 48 percent from the field and 89 percent from the line. Durant wasn't good against the Warriors in the second half, but it was a heck of a week.
Who's down: Defense and 3-point defense. The Thunder were burned by 14 Golden State 3-pointers Thursday on 60 percent shooting. It was Andre Iguodala's two-pointer that got the Thunder beat, but Oklahoma City has to figure out to defend on the perimeter more effectively.
Only Philadelphia allows more 3-pointers per game than the Thunder's 10.0. Teams are shooting 37.6 percent on 3-pointers against the Thunder – that's 20th-best in the league.
As far as turnovers, the Thunder are averaging more than 18 per game (27th in the league). Golden State ranks right behind the Thunder, turning it over 18.8 times per game, yet the Warriors had just seven against the Thunder in what has to be one of the more puzzling stats of the game.
Sixth-man watch: I want Reggie in that role. Gimme Reggie Jackson. Gimme lots more of Reggie Jackson. He's the best finisher on the team outside of Durant and Russell Westbrook. It's not even close, and that counts Serge Ibaka, who is having an amazing start to the season.
Nick Collison was first off the bench against Golden State, but Jackson played the most minutes of any bench player with 22. Jackson was five-of-nine shooting for 12 points and a team-high plus-10 on the plus/minus ratio. Jackson is averaging 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in the last five games. His 9.1 points per game is nearly double his career average. He's also well above his career numbers in assists (4.3) and rebounds (3.9) this season.
Jackson is another on the list of great draft picks by the Thunder staff at the guard position, joining James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
I like Jeremy Lamb and I think he's going to have some moments this season, but he's not the reliable player Jackson is. Lamb is shooting 36.4 percent and and is 5-for-20 in the past three games.
Who's hurt: No one is hurt, but Kendrick Perkins missed the past two games, due to personal reasons. That resulted in the Thunder being short-handed at the center position. Sure, everyone is on the Steven Adams bandwagon, and I like the guy, too. Looks promising, but he has been noticeably absent the past two games. Adams had two fouls in the first four minutes. Hasheem Thabeet doesn't exactly make folks feel great about the center position, either.
Perkins should be ready to rejoin the team at Milwaukee on Saturday.
One thing you might have missed: This Serge Ibaka-Blake Griffin thing may be for real, guys. It's the second season in a row the two have scuffled, but unlike last year when Ibaka cheap-shotted Griffin with a punch below the belt, Wednesday's brush-up wasn't Ibaka's fault.
Ibaka and Griffin got tangled up and then the Clippers' Matt Barnes rushed in and pushed Ibaka. Both Barnes and Ibaka were ejected. Griffin got a technical foul.
Meanwhile, more from the fights …
Are the Thunder players a bit more edgy than last season? Westbrook got ejected on Sunday for pushing against Washington. Ibaka got tossed Wednesday against Los Angeles and then Durant mixed it up with Andrew Bogut of Golden State late in the second quarter Thursday.
All this action and none of it from Kendrick Perkins. Interesting, and we thought he was the one prone to getting worked up.
Team temperature: Luke-warm, at best. Would have been hotter for sure if OKC had figured out how to close out Golden State, but after a pair of losses on the road, it's hard to get too high on em. The two games against the Clippers and the Warriors were the first ones this season against playoff teams last year and the Thunder went 0-2 against them. Both were on the road, but both were losses. That says something, right?
Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK
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