The much awaited face off between the two offensive powerhouses in the West was not a disappointment. The Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder combined for a total of 227 points en route to a Game 1 victory for the Clippers.
An offensive magician was seen in the form of Clippers’ elite point guard Chris Paul. His eight-three pointers (six made in the first half) were too much for the Thunder to recover from. Paul also used his 10 assists to get his fellow member of “Lob City” involved, which proved overwhelming for Thunder’s defensive aspirations.
It was evident that Oklahoma City will not be able to slow the pure offensive capability that the Clippers exhibited in Game 1; the only answer is to counteract the scoring production with an offensive assault of their own. Much like the strategy used by Marcos Maidana on Floyd Mayweather this past weekend, the Thunder must smother the Clippers’ defense with a barrage of offense from inside and outside.
The Thunder have the pieces available to put up numbers, but they are lacking aggression from their role players. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook took a combined 33 shot attempts compared to the 13 shots attempted by the other three starters. The bench only took six more shots than Durant and Westbrook did, which exemplifies that timidness in the Thunder’s reserves.
Unless Oklahoma City’s head coach Scott Brooks can light a fire under his team and turn up their offense, they will be looking at the Western Conference Finals from home this year.