2013-14 Season: Oklahoma City Thunder weekly grades for November 23 - November 29

The Thunder revenge schedule continues apace, as the team from Oklahoma City knocked off two playoff teams in the Spurs and Warriors, the latter of which dinged OKC earlier in the year. Here is how each player performed.

The Thunder continued their unbeaten streak at home this past week, getting two huge wins against the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors. There was also a game against the Utah Jazz. Here is how each player did during this 3-0 stretch.

Game 1: Thunder overwhelms struggling Jazz, 95-73

Game 2: Thunder defense, bench paves the way, knocking off Spurs 94-88

Game 3: Thunder defeats Warriors in OT, 113-112

***

KEVIN DURANT

22.7 PPG 11.7 REB 3.7 AST 0.7 BL 0.7 ST 4.3 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_b_medium
Kevin Durant was really average this week. He had a good game against the Spurs, but he was average at best against Golden State and against Utah during his limited minutes. Durant needs to be more efficient and it's been a problem all season in my opinion, but you can't argue with a 3-0 week.
Sherman Grade_c_medium
Is this grade harsh? Kevin Durant changes every game he is in simply by being on the court, so as long as Durant isn't getting himself into foul trouble, his presence is a positive. That said, KD just suffered through a 3 game stretch where he shot 37% from the floor and 25% from 3-point range while handing the ball more often to the opponent than assist his own teammates. By his own standards, this was a down week. That said, OKC went 3-0 and beat 2 playoff teams. The upside is never far off.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK

20.0 PPG 2.0 REB 7.5 AST 0 BL 3.5 ST 1.5 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_bplus_medium
That ridiculous buzzer beater earned him this grade. His performance against the Warriors was awful, but nobody comes back from a bad game quite like Russell Westbrook.
Sherman Grade_aminus_medium
You could essentially put a bow-tie on Russell Westbrook's insane game-winning OT 3-point buzzer beater against the Warriors and be done with it. In fact, I think I will.

SERGE IBAKA

17.3 PPG 11.7 REB 0.7 AST 4.0 BL 0.3 ST 1.3 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_a_medium
Serge Ibaka has been great for the most part of the season and this week was no exception. If he continues this level of play, there's no doubt he'll be in New Orleans for the all-star game.
Sherman Grade_a_medium
Serge Ibaka completed yet another week of all around great play. The question was not whether Ibaka had this kind of potential, but whether he could maintain the level on a game by game basis. What we saw these past 3 games is that so far, so good. Even though he missed a potential game-tying shot in OT against the Warriors (which led to Westbrook's dramatic shot), I loved the fact that the play was coming to him. He's earned the right to fail.

THABO SEFOLOSHA

7.3 PPG 5.3 REB 2.3 AST 0.0 BL 1.0 ST 1.3 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_b_medium
Thabo Sefolosha is putting his game together and that's huge for the Thunder. His defense is slowly getting to locked down form and his scoring is up a little. Sefolosha's shooting is a huge key to success for this team.
Sherman Grade_bplus_medium
Thabo Sefolosha appears to be righting the ship a bit on his game over the past week. While he hasn't had a breakout offensive game quite yet, Sefolosha's defense has kicked up a notch. In particular, Thabo was the guy that got burned the first time out against the Warriors, but there were no such lapses at the end of the Thunder's win this time out.

KENDRICK PERKINS

12.3 PPG 2.7 REB 1.0 AST 0.7 BL 0.7 ST 0.7 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_b_medium
Kendrick Perkins has done a great job at brushing off the criticism lately and he had a really good week. Perkins needs to rebound a little bit better, however, but as long as he's not a headache, he gets a passing grade.
Sherman Grade_bplus_medium
Kendrick Perkins appeared to be rounding back into form this week until he dislocated the same finger that was injured in the pre-season. While it is always difficult to quantify Perk's contribution, one way to do it is to look at how the team defense is performing. After a few lackluster defensive weeks, OKC's defense has been one of the primary factors in their rapid early season turnaround. Perk matters, whether the naysayers like it or not.

STEVEN ADAMS

3.3 PPG 5.7 REB 1.0 AST 0.3 BL 0.3 ST 2.0 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_c_medium
Steven Adams still has a lot of learning to do and when he plays against top-tier competition, his inexperience shows. Adams tends to make mistakes but that's fine for his growth.
Sherman Grade_cplus_medium
Steven Adams had a solid if unspectacular week. The biggest upside is that Adams as a rookie is getting nearly 18 minutes a night and is firmly entrenched as the backup center (which also doubles as the reality that Hasheem Thabeet is not the backup center). However, as the Warriors game demonstrated, Adams is still prone to getting lost on defense and needs to hone his instincts. If this is what he gives the team every night, that's a win. I however think he's got some more to give.

JEREMY LAMB

11.7 PPG 2.3 REB 1.0 AST 0.3 BL 0.3 ST 0.7 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_bplus_medium
Jeremy Lamb has been a nice surprise this season and although he's struggled at times, his talent is unquestioned. He has done a great job alongside Reggie Jackson with the second unit and he has been shooting the ball better recently. My guess is that he only gets better with more reps and games under his belt, so that's a great sign,
Sherman Grade_aminus_medium
Jeremy Lamb is getting the job done. He's getting on average 9 shots per outing and the team is encouraging him to shoot when open. Lamb has responded by pushing his shooting percentage up to 55.6% from the floor and 44.4% from 3-point range. He is developing great chemistry with 2nd unit floor leader Reggie Jackson, and if you didn't notice, he was on the court in OT during Westbrook's big shot vs the Warriors. The team trusts this guy, and I understand why.

NICK COLLISON

1.3 PPG 2.7 REB 1.3 AST 0.3 BL 0.3 ST 1.3 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_c_medium
Nick Collison's minutes are down, but I don't think that's a concern. He's been really solid with the young guys in the second unit and you have to believe that the old man of that lineup gets tired. His minutes will probably be monitored throughout the season because we all want to see Nick Collison healthy in the playoffs doing all the little things to win.
Sherman Grade_cplus_medium Nick Collison has seen his minutes scaled over the past week, and perhaps this is by design as Scott Brooks wants to make sure that his veteran big man stays healthy for the full season. As a result, Collison has gotten fewer opportunities in the near term. I'd still like to see him get a bit more involved in the offense, but given the way the bench has played recently, it's hard to complain.

REGGIE JACKSON

12.7 PPG 3.0 REB 3.3 AST 0.0 BL 1.0 ST 1.3 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_aplus_medium
Reggie Jackson was phenomenal against San Antonio when his team needed him the most. Him and Lamb have been a potent duo for the Thunder to give Durant and Westbrook some rest. I knew coming into the season that Reggie was a good backup point guard, but now he's an excellent backup point guard. His play reminds me of what Eric Bledsoe did for the Clippers last season, and that's a good thing. Also, congrats to him on the new career-high in points.
Sherman Grade_a_medium
Reggie Jackson took a huge step forward in his growth not only as a backup PG but as as professional by playing his best stretch of basketball in his young career. Jackson's performance peaked vs the Spurs, where he scored 23 points and hit numerous big shots in the 4th that kept OKC on top. His easy style of play is the perfect compliment to Westbrook's fury, and neither one can be stopped when they take the ball to the rack.

PERRY JONES III

13.0 PPG 3.0 REB 1.0 AST 0.0 BL 1.0 ST 1.0 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_a_medium
Perry Jones III has done everything Scott Brooks has asked of him. He only played against the Jazz, but he had a really good performance. He's shown that he stays ready and that could come up big later into the season when guys are trying to rest up, but the Thunder are still trying to secure home-court. I'm impressed by Perry Jones.
Sherman Grade_bplus_medium As we've written before, a player can only capitalize on what he's been given. Jones received 2 DNP's this week against the Spurs and Warriors, which is a bit puzzling because he had his best game as a pro against the Jazz (yeah, but still) by scoring 13 and hitting 3-3 from 3-point range. Odds are that he didn't see action after Utah because he still struggles with defending the PnR and obviously Tony Parker and Stephen Curry are two of the toughest guards in the league to stop. Even so, when PJIII gets the minutes, he makes the most of it.

DEREK FISHER

1.3 PPG 1.7 REB 1.3 AST 0.0 BL 0.3 ST 0.0 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_bminus_medium
He didn't cost the team any wins this week, and that's good enough for me.
Sherman Grade_cplus_medium
Fisher had a non-descriptive kind of week, and I kind of see that as a good thing. He's part of the regular rotation, but he's not being put in spots as he was in prior years where he was treated as an important piece of the offense. That simply isn't where he is as a pro anymore, and it is good that Brooks has finally identified it. To Fish's credit, he seems to know what his role is now and embraces it.

ANDRE ROBERSON

1.0 PPG 2.0 REB 1.0 AST 0.0 BL 0.0 ST 1.0 TO


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_c_medium
Andre Roberson has been getting the spot start against the bad teams in the league, but he hasn't really stood out. The D-League is probably in the cards for Roberson.
Sherman Grade_dplus_medium
Andre Roberson got the random start against the Jazz when Thabo Sefolosha was a late scratch. Unfortunately for the rookie, he still is not quite ready for the bright lights, as his 13 minutes lacked much of anything worth note. Roberson will likely be headed to Tulsa when the 66ers' season begins, and hopefully that will give him the extended playing time he needs to hone his skills.

HASHEEM THABEET

DNP


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_cplus_medium
When I see a DNP for Hasheem Thabeet, I can't help but like it. I like Thabeet, but he has no business being on the floor at this moment.
Sherman Grade_cplus_medium
Hasheem Thabeet is doing a great job on the bench. Not as a bench player, but on the bench. Keep it up, Hash.

SCOTT BROOKS


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_b_medium
Scott Brooks didn't make any controversial substitutions and has shown this season to be patient with his young guys, which hasn't been the case all the time. The young guys have helped him out by putting up some good numbers, too.
Sherman Grade_bplus_medium Scott Brooks continues his own run of showing growth in managing his personnel. He is hitting nearly all the right notes in getting the right players on the court at the right time, and was rewarded by 3 solid wins. The weak spot, as it has always been, is his late-game play calling. There was little inspiring in how the Thunder offense operated against the Warriors, and it inspired this Zach Lowe burn.

OVERALL THUNDER TEAM GRADE


Grade Comments
Juan Grade_aplus_medium
The team went 3-0 for the week and that is always the most important part, but what stood out to me was the ways the team won and who stepped up. We saw a week where Reggie Jackson logged a career week and Jeremy Lamb shot the ball well. We also saw Kendrick Perkins' value and Perry Jones III put up good numbers against the Jazz. There's a lot of things to improve and I think that's just scary considering with how good this team looks already. The Thunder are in really good shape.
Sherman Grade_a_medium The team went 3-0 for the week and knocked off two playoff teams in the Spurs and Warriors. These wins will matter down the stretch, especially as teams are competing for home court advantage and seeding in the playoffs. Furthermore, what I dug the most is that OKC could have folded in both of those games, as their star duo of Durant and Westbrook suffered through some horrific shooting. And yet, the Thunder system, as rudimentary as it is at times, was the difference. OKC used its bench well, relied on its defense, and they figured out a way to win against very good squads. More, please (just a little bit better shooting, thx).
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