2013-14 Season: Oklahoma City Thunder weekly grades for November 4 - November 10

The Thunder saw Russell Westbrook return and rolled off 4 wins this past week. Here is our weekly grades on how each player performed.

We introduce a new weekly feature, where we grade each player's collective performance from the past week. This will likely be a Friday afternoon feature going forward.

The Thunder overcame a shaky 1-1 start this season to roll off 4 wins in a row over the Suns, Mavericks, Pistons, and Wizards. OKC saw the return of Russell Westbrook from injury and his presence has made all the difference in the world, even as he works his way back into his high level of performance. Here are our grades for each player over the past week.

***

KEVIN DURANT

31.5 PPG 8.5  REB 6.0 AST 0.5  BL  1.8 ST 4.0 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_aplus_medium Kevin Durant won the game against the Wizards after Westbrook got ejected and the three pointer to tie the game alone gives him extra credit in my book. Besides the turnovers, he's been the best player on the court and every game the Thunder have played.
Sherman Grade_a_medium
Kevin Durant rebounded well from one of his worst games as a pro when the Thunder lost to the Timberwolves. Since Westbrook returned, Durant has played with much greater confidence and precision and once again makes scoring look oh so easy. The only knock against him is the high turnovers, which he will need to address against the elite teams he's facing this week.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK

19.0 PPG  3.5 REB 3.8  AST 0.0  BL 1.8 ST 4.5 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_bplus_medium
Russell Westbrook is back and we should all smile about that, especially considering how early he came back, but there's still some things he needs to improve on. He had too many turnovers this week and he got ejected for foolishly pushing Nene against the Wizards. I understand that Westbrook plays hard, but he has to be smarter than that. Once he gets back to 100% hopefully he'll clean some things up.
Sherman Grade_aplus_medium
Russell Westbrook's grade is purely a function of the fact that he is ON the court and influencing games. There will be plenty of time to dissect his struggles as he works to rehabilitate his effectiveness, but for the time being, simply having Westbrook on the court is all the difference in the world.

SERGE IBAKA

15.5 PPG 11.0 REB 0.8 AST 2.3 BL 0.3 ST 1.3 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_b_medium Serge Ibaka had some struggles the first few games of the season, but things started to click against the Mavericks. Ibaka only missed two shots against Dallas and despite an average game against the Pistons, Ibaka was great on Sunday against the Wizards.
Sherman Grade_bminus_medium
Serge Ibaka has had to deal with some struggles this season as he was clearly pressing early on and is now just working to find his offensive rhythm. He found it against the Wizards and that game is closer to what we expect from him. Much credit to him for continuing to work on the boards despite his offensive struggles. OKC would be in serious trouble if they weren't winning the rebounding battle, especially since they are shooting poorly as a team.

THABO SEFOLOSHA

6.0 PPG 4.5  REB 2.5  AST 0.3 BL 1.0 ST 1.5 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_dplus_medium
Thabo Sefolosha is a great defensive player, and is somewhat capable offensively, but he hasn't been great on that end this season. Sefolosha needs to be a better three-point shooter than what he has shown this season. As good as his defense is, he needs to be able to stretch the floor, if not he's a huge liability for the Thunder moving forward. 10% on three's is just not going to cut it.
Sherman Grade_cminus_medium
Thabo Sefolosha too has struggled in the early going, trying to do a little bit more than his skillset allows. As a result his most important skill, the 3-point shot, has been impacted. Thabo made less than 10% of his 3's last week, and this is a % that can seriously jeopardize OKC's aspirations if it doesn't improve.

KENDRICK PERKINS

2.0 PPG 3.5  REB 1.0  AST 0.5 BL 0.3 ST 1.5 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_c_medium Kendrick Perkins isn't going to wow anybody on the stat sheet, but he hasn't been terrible this season, he's actually been really consistent in what he gives you. He hasn't gotten much playing time, but he's been effective for the most part when he's out there.
Sherman Grade_c_medium
Kendrick Perkins' grade is going to be a point of contention all year as fans challenge the notion that he has anything at all to contribute. Right now, I kind of like his role. He's getting around 20 minutes per game and he is looking more energized than in the past. He likely knows his starting job is on the line as rookie Steven Adams is chasing him down, but that competition makes it a win for everyone. I'm holding out hope that Perk will get better.

STEVEN ADAMS

6.5 PPG 6.3  REB  0.8 AST 1.8 BL 0.8 ST 0.5 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_a_medium
Steven Adams has been nothing short of great so far this season, especially this week. The game against the Wizards wasn't great, but the games against Dallas and Detroit earn his an A. Also, showing Vince Carter what Kiwi Strong is all about was great, too.
Sherman Grade_aminus_medium

Adams arrived on the national scene this past week in only his 5th professional game of his life in recording a 17-10-3-3-1. Granted it came against a weak Mavericks It came against a formidable Pistons front line, and the way that Adams did it was remarkable given how raw his offensive game had been previously. Adams came back to earth against the Wizards, but everything about him has indicated that he is primed to surpass expectations.

JEREMY LAMB

9.8 PPG 1.8  REB 1.0  AST 0.5 BL 0.5 ST 0.5 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_b_medium
Jeremy Lamb has been a pleasant surprise early on especially after a poor preseason. Lamb has been playing with confidence and has hit a couple big shots down the stretch. The only reason I give him a B is because I want a little bit more than just scoring. I want to see him drive and dish a little more and maybe rebound a little better. I think he'll get better, which is a good sign.
Sherman Grade_bplus_medium
The one attribute I can give Lamb that I didn't anticipate is this: composure. I thought with him essentially redshirting last season and then being given a huge responsibility this season that Lamb would struggle and turn into a gunner like his fellow UConn alum Rudy Gay. This has not been the case at all. Instead, Lamb has stayed in the moments he is on the court and is nearly averaging double digits. Most importantly, I love the way he is relying on the bigs Collison and Adams to produce open shots and run pick and rolls.

NICK COLLISON

5.7 PPG 2.0  REB 1.0 AST 1.0 ST 1.3 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_b_medium Nick Collison stays doing what he does. Nothing flashy and everything productive. It's not possible to dislike what he does on the court.
Sherman Grade_b_medium
Nick Collison do what Collison do. Aside from his stat-stuffing intangibles, one of the biggest values he will have this season is teaching Adams how to work within the Thunder offense. Adams could not have a better teacher.

REGGIE JACKSON

14.0 PPG 4.5  REB 5.0 AST 0.3  BL 0.8 ST 1.5 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_aminus_medium
Reggie Jackson has been sensational so far this season. He's been a little banged up and his stats might have taken a hit because he left the Dallas game in the second quarter, but even with that, he's averaging 14 points and 5 assists while committing less than 2 turnovers a game. He has been sensational with the other Thunder young players.
Sherman Grade_bplus_medium
Reggie Jackson has been dealing with back and hip injuries, so his performance has to be couched in those facts. These facts make his performance all the more inspiring, because Jackson has regained the confidence that he was lacking in the first two games. Particularly against the Wizards and their lightning backcourt duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal, Jackson made some huge plays down the stretch after Westbrook was ejected. He was critical in the come from behind win.

PERRY JONES III

3.3 PPG 3.0  REB  0.7 AST 0.7 BL 0.0 ST 0.3 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_b_medium Perry Jones III has found himself in the rotation and deservingly so. His defense has been great so far and he's also been great at finishing around the rim. We still don't know what position Perry Jones III is, but as of right now he's a hybrid, and I'm okay with that.
Sherman Grade_bplus_medium Perry Jones III came into this season as a huge question mark, because so many have doubted whether he had the desire and discipline to contribute. I am excited to say that he is figuring out what his role can be on this team. He is taking on defensive assignments with aplomb, and had some valuable sequences slowing down Beal in the Wizards win. Defense, rebounding, and finishing at the rim - if PJIII can do these things with consistency, then he deserves to be on the court.

DEREK FISHER

4.0 PPG 1.0  REB 0.8  AST 0.0 BL 0.8 ST 0.0 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_c_medium Derek Fisher has had as much impact on games as Kendrick Perkins and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Playing limited minutes and mostly with the second unit has helped the Thunder a lot. Fisher is a great locker room presence, but his best basketball days are behind him. As long as he doesn't get a ton of minutes, he will be a good fit for this team.
Sherman Grade_c_medium
Derek Fisher averaged 12 minutes per game, and I give Scott Brooks credit because I think that is right on the nose. Brooks is trusting his young players to be in big moments in close games instead of automatically turning to Fisher, and that means that Fisher is being used appropriately. He provides PG support, stability, and works well with the 2nd unit. Let's hope the team keeps him in this role where he helps more than he hurts.


OVERALL THUNDER TEAM GRADE


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_bminus_medium Giving this grade to the Thunder when they just came off sweeping a week tells you everything you need to know about how good this team can be. Three-point shooting needs to improve and be consistent and Durant and Westbrook cannot combine for 9 turnovers a game against elite teams. This coming week will give us a better idea of how good the Thunder are.
Sherman Grade_bminus_medium
Winning is always better than losing, and OKC went 4-0 last week, and those wins will matter in the end. That said, like every other team in the league, there are still a ton of issues that need to be addressed. In particular, 3-point shooting, turnovers, defending the 3-point arc, and getting Westbrook back to his All-Star level will be critical but doable.
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