Thunder Are On A Roll: What's The Key To Success

By Eli Friedman
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Its young, it’s still early. But, still. This Oklahoma City Thunder team is red hot. A seven-game win streak, including wins in Brooklyn, at home again the new look Lakers, and big wins against the Jazz and Rockets. Now 16-4, this Thunder team is making loud noise in the league once again, and almost giving the NBA and nice little message that this team is better than last year’s even with the loss of James Harden.

What the key to the success as of late? A list of things, but specially the play of Westbrook, and Durant and the way this team is shooting the ball. Against the Nets, the Thunder shot  40-for-66 from the floor (60.6%), including 7-of-14 from three-point range, and they made 30-of-34 shots from the line (88.2%). That’s just absurd.  It’s now 11 straight games for the Thunder in which they have scored 100 or more points.

Kevin Durant was named Western Conference Player of the Month, and he quite frankly deserved it. Heading into tonight, he is averaging 27 points per game, but the stats that I adore is that he is averaging 8.6 rebounds per game. That’s different. That’s the new KD. He  can chance a game not only by scoring the basketball, but by using his length and height to help out Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka.

Russell Westbrook on the other hand, is having yet another breakout year. 21.5 points per game, and the biggest of all 8.7 assists a game. His three-point percentage has drastically improves, as he is shooting .458 from deep. This guy is hard too guard in the first place, and with the Lakers throwing Chris Duhon at him it didn’t help cool him down.

16-4 and on a roll. This week, the Thunder will face the Pacers tonight, Hornets on Wednesday and the Kings on Friday.


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