As we reflect on the first week of the 2013-2014 NBA season, the Oklahoma City Thunder are, well, right where many of us assumed they would be. Without star point guard Russell Westbrook, the Thunder’s lack of scoring is blatantly obvious early on and Kevin Durant is having to do all of the heavy lifting.
At 1-1, the Thunder barely snuck by the Utah Jazz by a margin of just three points and were blown out by a Minnesota Timberwolves squad that opened with two wins this week. In both of those games, one thing was apparent: Offense is going to be dreadfully hard to come by until Westbrook returns.
In their first two games, Durant has averaged 27.5 points on just 37.1 percent shooting and 23.1 percent from beyond the arc. The only other two players averaging double figures are Jeremy Lamb (10.0) and Reggie Jackson (11.0). As a team, the Thunder are shooting a measly 37.8 percent from the field and a horrific 26 percent from three point range.
To think that these numbers were put up against the Jazz and Timberwolves is extremely disheartening if you’re a Thunder fan. Of course, it’s early on and we can’t call these guys anything after just two games. Heck, we can’t really over-analyze anything until a month or two into the season.
But, thus far the takeaway has been that the Thunder absolutely need someone to step up and be able to create offense at a high level other than Durant, who is the only respectable option that defenses can key in on at this point.
This is only week one, and hey look, the Philadelphia 76ers — who many thought to be tanking away — are undefeated through three games while beating the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls as a part of that start. The Thunder, though, must gather themselves here early on and get their offensive mindset in gear.