60 Down, 22 To Go....Let's grade the players!

This is something I've been meaning to do ever since the All-Star Break, but I haven't had time until now, and 60 sounds like a nice, round number to do it at. So, without further ado, let's see how all of our players have done, in Alphabetical order by first name. All players that have graced our roster are fair game. Here's the Grading System I've set up:

A: Absolutely exceeded expectations in every way. A true diamond in the rough.

B: Exceeded expectations, but not in an amazing way.

C: Met expectations for the year.

D: Lower expectations than thought, but not devastatingly bad.

F: Dreadful. Failed in every possible way.

INC: Incomplete. Not enough playing time to make a real judgement.

Please note that I'm judging each player on how they're doing this year in comparison to how they did last year and what expectations they had coming into this season. So, for example, if I gave Johan Petro an A for averaging a double double, and gave Carmelo Anthony a C+ for averaging what he does now, it doesn't necessarily mean Petro is the better player. It just means he exceeded his own expectations much better than Anthony did, who was already at a high level.

First, the Players that are no longer on the roster:

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Bowen, Ryan SF

The Line of Stats: GP: 1, MPG: 07:54, PPG: 4.0, FG%: 100%, 3PT%: N/A, RPG: 2.0, APG: 0.0, TOPG: 0.0, SPG: 1.0, BPG: 0.0

Analysis: We were expecting a lot out of this guy, especially after he played serviceably for the Hornets for the past couple of years. But, to be honest, Hornets bigs generally are trash, and this guy is no exception. He can shoot and rebound on an average level, but nothing warranting a roster spot over guys like White and Mullens. So, after some practicing, pre-season games, and one regular season game, this guy was cut. It was a good call.

Final Verdict: D+

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Harpring, Matt SF

The Line of Stats: None.

Analysis: We never expected this guy to play, but it would have been nice to see him come back for a minimum or something like that next year, just to see what the guy can still do. Unfortunately, that look at his play will have to come from another team or not at all.

Final Verdict: INC

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Harris, Mike SF

The Line of Stats: None.

Anaylsis: He only played in the Pre-Season, and he didn't have much to offer. The main thing I'll remember about him is when he fell on the floor and got a minor injury during open practice, causing him to writhe on the floor in pain, go to the locker room, and come back with ice on his arm. He was cut the next day.

Final Verdict: C

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Kelley, Tre PG

The Line of Stats: None.

Anaylsis: I really don't know why we invited this guy to training camp in the first place. I really didn't see him making the roster from the get go, especially considering he'd have to leapfrog Livingston or Ollie to get there. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Final Verdict: C

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Livingston, Shaun PG

The Line of Stats: GP: 10, MPG: 13:00, PPG: 1.0, FG%: 31.3%, 3PT%: 0.0%, RPG: 2.0, APG: 1.4, TOPG: 0.8, SPG: 0.5, BPG: 0.2

Analysis: When Shaun Livingston left, some lamented his loss. Looking at his stat line alone, it's hard to see why. He added no offensive production whatsoever, got an average amount of assists, and rebounded more than usual for a Point Guard. All in all, that's pretty average for a third-stringer. But, when you look at his story, he's a lot more enticing as a player. He averaged good numbers for the Clippers back in the day before nearly destroying his leg on an ugly drive. Most are hoping he'll return to his form, but he hasn't been the same since. The quickness is gone. The explosiveness is gone. He just can't get to the line to make up for his offensive deficiency anymore, and his average PG skills and above-average rebounding skills aren't enough to counteract that. He's no Thabo Sefolosha. And that's why he was cut from the team.

Final Verdict: D

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Ruffin, Michael PF

The Line of Stats: None.

Analysis: This guy is old, and his card is pretty much marked. In his day, if he ever had one, he was a below-average Power Forward. The only reason we got him at all is because he played for Tulsa. Some sort of hometown thing, even though he didn't have a major role in the Pre-Season game the Thunder played in Tulsa. In the end, Ruffin's Pre-Season run with the Thunder can pretty much be considered his swan song.

Final Verdict: C-

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Vaden, Robert SG

The Line of Stats: None.

Analysis: Being deep in the draft, Rabert Vaden was basically a stab in the dark at getting a servicable scorer off of the Thunder bench. Unfortunately, all he did in college was shoot 3s, and they weren't very long ones. His game didn't translate to the NBA level, so he was cut.

Final Verdict: C

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Wilks, Mike PG

The Line of Stats: GP: 4, MPG: 14:48, PPG: 4.0, FG%: 50.0%, 3PT%: 66.7%, RPG: 1.0, APG: 1.0, TOPG: 1.0, SPG: 0.0, BPG: 0.0

Analysis: This guy turned out to be one of the nice surprises of the Thunder season. Granted, it was a four game stint that nobody but me and Mike will remember in a few years time, but it worked out well. Both Ollie and Livingston were injured, so we needed an emergency backup Point Guard. Wilks, a veteran of solid San Antonio, Cleveland, and Seattle teams, provided the guy we needed. He scored only when pressed, he passed the ball, he defended serviceably, didn't turn the ball over, and he wasn't too much of a liability. That's about all you can ask of the guy, and that's the reason he gets a good grade. And, if we never traded for Eric Maynor, he might still be on our roster to date.

Final Verdict: B

Below: The Current Roster

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Anderson, Antonio SG

The Line of Stats: GP: 1, MPG: 14:35, PPG: 2.0, FG%: 33.3%, 3PT%: N/A, RPG: 1.0, APG: 0.0, TOPG: 1.0, SPG: 0.0, BPG: 0.0

Analysis: We just called this guy out of the D-League, assumedly so we can send down all of our youngsters. He's played in one game, and how did he do? Pretty badly. Granted, Serge Ibaka and James Harden were hogging the ball the whole time, but you'd think he could do better than two points an a rebound. He'll get other chances, and he'll be able to change his grade, but I've got to go off of what I've seen, and what I've seen so far has been completely lacking.

Final Verdict: D-

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Collison, Nick PF

The Line of Stats: GP: 53, MPG: 21:11, PPG: 5.5, FG%: 59.4%, 3PT%: 0.0, RPG: 5.2, APG: 0.8, TOPG: 0.5, SPG: 0.5, BPG: 0.7

Analysis: Well, what can you say about Nick Collison? He's the guy that goes down into the post and does all of the dirty work for the team. He grabs the rebounds, he plays solid defense, and he scores the garbage points. All of that aside, his stats are actually significantly down this year. He was a shade under a double-double two years ago in Seatlle, and he was at 8 and 7 last year. What happened? Well, his minutes decreased, and Serge Ibaka emerged. With the emergence of Ibaka, Collison got demoted from arguably the 2nd best big man on the team to the 3rd best, resulting in a decrease in opportunities, and thus a decrease in production. It's not entirely his fault, but Nick Collison falls just short of expectations.

Final Verdict: C-

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Durant, Kevin SF

The Line of Stats: GP: 60, MPG: 39:36, PPG: 29.7, FG%: 47.8%, 3PT%: 38.1%, RPG: 7.5, APG: 2.8, TOPG: 3.6, SPG: 1.4, BPG: 0.9

Analysis: The amount that Kevin Durant has improved since the beginning of his career and even the beginning of this year is astronomical. He's not a star who will blow you away with huge numbers or highlight plays, but he is a star who is incredibly consistent. He doesn't miss a beat, and he's really only underperformed in a handful of games this year. He rebounds terrifically for a Small Forward, he can make the extra pass, and even his major weakness, defense, is improving. Still, he does have flaws. He'll have games where he turns the ball over far too often. He'll allow guys like Carmelo Anthony to completely negate his good scoring performances. He has badly missed some crucial shots. Lastly, his three point percentage, while solid and reasonable, isn't anything special. But, the flaws I mentioned are incredibly nitpicky. But nitpicky flaws are what separate the great from the fantastic, and it remains to be seen which category Kevin Durant fits into.

Final Verdict: A-

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Green, Jeff SF

The Line of Stats: GP: 60, MPG: 37:06, PPG: 14.6, FG%: 44.8%, 3PT%: 32.4%, RPG: 6.1, APG: 1.5, TOPG: 1.7, SPG: 1.2, BPG: 0.8

Analysis: Jeff Green has actually had a bit of a disappointing campaign. In short, his scoring ability has lessened from last year, and his 3 Point Percentage is down. Every other category is fairly identical to last year. In short, his potential has peaked. It's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a risk any team takes when they draft a older college player. I'm not saying that he's not going to improve, but I am saying that these stats are about what you're going to get out of him until he's about 30. I could be totally wrong, and Russell Westbrook's increased scoring presence could be a factor, but for now, Jeff Green has peaked.

Final Verdict: C-

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Harden, James SG

The Line of Stats: GP: 60, MPG: 23:06, PPG: 9.8, FG%: 38.9%, 3PT%: 38.0%, RPG: 3.3, APG: 2.0, TOPG: 1.4, SPG: 1.0, BPG: 0.2

Analysis: James Harden has done a decent job so far. He's been the scoring presence off the bench that the Thunder have needed, but in a way that I didn't expect. He was brought in to be a 3 Point Shooter and driver, but he's evolved into mainly a driver, who doesn't shoot more threes than Durant or Green does. I won't lie and say that this isn't a bit of a disappointment, as this team is in desperate need of range. But, it's still a very good thing, and he's farther along in his first year than I thought he would be. Honestly, if Sefolosha wasn't such a defensive stud and Durant wasn't such a defensive dud, he has the talent to be a starter. He's an older rookie, so he doesn't have a lot of room to develop, but it will be interesting to see the directing his career takes over the next couple of years.

Final Verdict: B

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Ibaka, Serge C

The Line of Stats: GP: 51, MPG: 16:41, PPG: 5.6, FG%: 52.3%, 3PT%: 100%, RPG: 5.0, APG: 0.2, TOPG: 1.0, SPG: 0.4, BPG: 1.1

Analysis: Serge Ibaka is, unquestionably, the most improved player on this team. He morphed from what was expected to be a raw, unskilled D-Leaguer who sat amongst White and Mullens into a borderline starters with seemingly unlimited potential. He can block shots from the sky. Of course, he might not age well, because his game is so centered on athleticism, but that's a concern for down the road. For now, I'm loving every minute of this guy. Put him in the dunk contest!

Final Verdict: A+

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Krstic, Nenad C

The Line of Stats: GP: 58, MPG: 22:23, PPG: 8.2, FG%: 48.8%, 3PT%: 33.3%, RPG: 4.7, APG: 0.8, TOPG: 0.8, SPG: 0.5, BPG: 0.6

Analysis: Going into this year, Krstic's card has pretty much been marked. He's a serviceable starter who can knock down jumpers and set picks. He only gets down and dirty with the softest of centers. And, as such, he had a rather difficult start to the season. But how he does from night to night varies wildly according to who he's matched up against, so he's regained some footing, and actually seems to be improving a bit and getting more tenacious. Still, it's uncertain whether he'll be a useful starting center in the long term.

Final Verdict: C+

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Maynor, Eric PG

The Line of Stats (Thunder Stats Only): GP: 33, MPG: 14:54, PPG: 3.8, FG%: 41.3%, 3PT%: 34.6%, RPG: 1.5, APG: 2.7, TOPG: 1.1, SPG: 0.5, BPG: 0.2

Analysis: Eric Maynor has done well for himself here. He's proved to be a much better backup than Livingston was, and he'll definitely be better than Ollie in a year or two. But for now, it's great to have a developing backup point guard. He has flaws, like when he'll fire up bad shots, but, overall, you really can't ask much more out of a backup. He's a 4 year college guy, so he doesn't have a lot of room to grow, but it will still be nice to see him improve over the next couple of years. Still, he's performed just about haw we expected him to when we got him, so he gets a C.

Final Verdict: C

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Mullens, B.J. C

The Line of Stats: GP: 12, MPG: 4:24, PPG: 1.2, FG%: 36.8%, 3PT%: N/A, RPG: 0.8, APG: 0.1, TOPG: 0.3, SPG: 0.2, BPG: 0.0

Analysis: To be honest, I really didn't expect anything at all out of B.J. Mullens. I really would have preferred Rodrigue Beaubois, and he wasn't all that good in college. But, B.J. has managed to perform a bit above expectations. He's scored some points in garbage time, and he's rebounded a bit. But, until I see this guy in more real games, I'm reserving my judgement.

Final Verdict: C+

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Ollie, Kevin PG

The Line of Stats: GP: 20, MPG: 11:41, PPG: 1.9, FG%: 39.5%, 3PT%: 0.0%, RPG: 1.0, APG: 0.9, TOPG: 0.2, SPG: 0.5, BPG: 0.0

Analysis: Stats don't tell the entire story when dealing with Kevin Ollie. What he does doesn't show up on the scoreboard. He plays good defense, and is always looking to set someone else up to score. He never drives to the basket, and will only shoot a jumper if pressed by the shot clock or some such. He also has a terrific plus/minus rating most games, especially for a backup. Initially, I had no idea why we signed this washed up old PG, but now I know why. A great advisor for Maynor and Westbrook, and the best 3rd-String PG you could possibly have. He's out of the rotation now, but he's always ready to step in.

Final Verdict: B-

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Sefolosha, Thabo SG

The Line of Stats: GP: 60, MPG: 29:06, PPG: 5.9, FG%: 42.0%, 3PT%: 31.6%, RPG: 5.1, APG: 1.8, TOPG: 1.2, SPG: 1.3, BPG: 0.7

Analysis: Last year, Sefolosha proved to be pretty decent, but by the time he joined our team, the season was already over. So not everybody really knew what to expect out of this guy in a real situation. The answer came this season, and it hit you in the face like a flying pancake. He's one of the best defenders in the league. He's slowed down superstars, allowing us to defeat opponents with ease. He's gotten lots of intangible stats when we've needed them. But, most of all, he's provided defense to a mostly defenseless starting lineup (See: Krstic, Nenad, Durant, Kevin). And that's been invaluable to the team. We probably wouldn't be where we are now without Sefolosha. Still, his offense could use a lot of improving, and he didn't completely blow us away, so he falls just short of an A.

Final Verdict: B+

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Thomas, Etan C

The Line of Stats: GP: 18, MPG: 16:00, PPG: 3.8, FG%: 48.3%, 3PT%: N/A, RPG: 3.3, APG: 0.1, TOPG: 0.8, SPG: 0.2, BPG: 0.8

Analysis: Etan Thomas was supposed to be the 3rd String in a 3 Big Man rotation, but with the emergence of Ibaka, he's bee pushed out of the lineup. Heck, it's even reasonable to assume that he's now behind B.J. Mullens. Early in the season, he provided the defense and rebounding that the Thunder needed before Ibaka came. Every time he got the ball on offense you'd hold your breath, but he'd make up for it on the other end of the floor. But, he had a string of bad games, Ibaka was given a chance, and Thomas is now perma-benched, barring injury. Still, if Ibaka ever got injured, this would be the first guy I'd go to to replace him, because if we threw in Mullens or White, our interior defense would become very, very weak.

Final Verdict: D+

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Weaver, Kyle SG

The Line of Stats: GP: 3, MPG: 10:05, PPG: 6.0, FG%: 66.7%, 3PT%: 50.0%, RPG: 1.0, APG: 1.7, TOPG: 1.0, SPG: 0.7, BPG: 1.0

Analysis: On this Thunder team, Kyle Weaver has become associated with the terms , "Odd Man Out", "Guy Who Always Sits on the Bench With a Sweater and a Sling", and "Leftovers". He performed admirably before his injury, like a Thabo Sefolosha with a bit less defense and a bit more scoring. His future with the team is doubtful, as he was sent to the D-League, where he'll dominate. But, if the Thunder are smart, they'll try to keep Weaver on the team. He's really the only Swingman the Thunder have sans Harden, and he's proven himself to be a hell of a player. But for now, he'll serve as a reminder of the old Carlesimo Era, when the team was so bad that he could actually get solid playing time.

Final Verdict: C+

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Westbrook, Russell PG

The Line of Stats: GP: 60, MPG: 35:12, PPG: 16.6, FG%: 41.6%, 3PT%: 25.0%, RPG: 5.1, APG: 7.9, TOPG: 3.1, SPG: 1.3, BPG: 0.4

Analysis: Few would have thought that Russell Westbrook could have had a Sophomore Campaign significantly better than his rookie campaign. But Russell Westbrook just pushed the bar higher, and it's been amazing to see. Everything has improved across the board. Defense, Rebounding, Assists, Scoring, Shooting Percentages....he's become the Point Guard everybody hoped he would be. His 3 Point Shot and his Turnovers need to go down, but everybody has their flaws. Don't be surprised if Westbrook is an All-Star within the next couple of years.

Final Verdict: A

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White, D.J. PF

The Line of Stats: GP: 8, MPG: 09:05, PPG: 4.8, FG%: 68.0%, 3PT%: N/A, RPG: 1.9, APG: 0.5, TOPG: 0.3, SPG: 0.4, BPG: 0.3

Analysis: Well, what can you say about D.J. White? He broke his Jaw last year, fractured his thumb this year. He's performed serviceably in garbage time, but we don't get to see much of him on the Thunder. He spends most of his time conquering the D-League, where he averages 20 Points and 10 Rebounds. This should tell you that the guy is no joke. I'd rather have this guy than Antonio Anderson. But, the D-League doesn't always translate to the NBA, so we'll see how he does when the time comes. But for now, I remain optimistic.

Final Verdict: B-

What do you think of the ratings? Agree? Disagree? Want to make your own? Post a comment!

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