Monday, November 5, 2012

Teague Thunderdunks on K. Smoove

The Thunder laid an egg last night (with the exception of Kevin Martin, who was brilliant, finishing with 28 points on 8-11 shooting including 6-8 from 3).  21 turnovers leading to 31 Atlanta points to go along nicely with giving up 12 offensive boards leading to 16 points.  The sloppy play needs to be fixed like yesterday if the Thunder want to get anywhere close to their 2011 campaign.

Without getting too deep on another Westbrook needs to shoot less and pass more rant, Westbrook needs to shoot less and pass more.  My reasoning: K. Smoove finished with an impressive line of 22 points on 7-17 from the field with 12 boards, 8 assist, 3 steals and 2 blocks.  Full disclosure: he also had 6 turnovers.  You're thinking, what does that have to do with Westbrook, right?  Well Russ Russ finished with 14 points on an abysmal 5-18 from the field with a season high 9 assists and a season low 3 turnovers.  There were at least 4 shot opportunities that Durant passed up to try to play facilitator to get the rest of the team involved.  Durant is the best scorer in the world.  He should NEVER pass a shot up to facilitate.  Westbrook should be the one focusing on facilitating, not taking 18 shots and shooting 27%.  Obviously, finishing with 9 assists, Russ Russ did do his share of facilitating, but if he took 5 less shots and fed the hot hand of Kevin Martin or Smoove, the result of this game could have been drastically different.  My point is that Russ Russ needs to pick up earlier in the night if his shot is off and use his explosive speed to draw help defense and dish the ball to the open man.  Instead of doing that, right now he ends up throwing up wild layups or off balance shots.  It's not working and its becoming more evident now that Smooth J is out of town and Westbrook is handling the point even more.

Another issue that is starting to bubble to the surface in OKC is internal conflict.  For the second game in a row Sefolosha and Russ Russ had to be separated.  Ibaka took some heat from Smoove on the way into the locker room at half about a board he didn't grab and also from Poppa Perk every time they didn't come away with a rebound.  The role players on this team need to fall in line.  Everyone should be looking to Smoove as the first in line and Russ Russ as his Secretary (until he ups his play, I'm not referring to him as the Vice President).  No one else on this team should be talking.  Period.

Oh and Jeff Teague has been bringing the hammer dunks this year.  Smoove fell victim last night after Teague blew by a flat footed Westbrook on the perimeter.  Sorry, Smoove:

LOVE the description of that video.  "Teague baptizes Durant."

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