2013-14 Season: Oklahoma City Thunder weekly grades for December 15 - December 21

The Thunder went 4-0 this past week with 2 big road wins. How did each player do? Find out here!

The Oklahoma City Thunder continued their winning ways by winning their 9th consecutive game this past week. With wins over the Nuggets and Spurs on the road, OKC solidifies themselves as one of the top teams in the league and one that can adapt to any style of play to deal with all challengers. We grade the players here, so find out how each one performed!

Game 1: Thunder hang on at home vs Magic, 101-98

Game 2: Thunder maintain control over Nuggets on the road, 105-93

Game 3: Thunder overwhelm shorthanded Bulls, 107-95

Game 4: Thunder get signature road win over Spurs, 113-100


***

Durant_medium

KEVIN DURANT Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 26.8 7.3 4.3 1.0 2.0 2.0 14.8
JUAN Grade_aminus_medium
When grading Kevin Durant, I'm always a little more picky than I would be with anybody else because he's just so good. With that said, Durant had a really solid week. He was magnificent against the Bulls and he was good enough against the other teams this week for the Thunder to win. Good week for KD.
SHERMAN Grade_bplus_medium
Kevin Durant had a solid week, highlighted by his frighteningly efficient outing against the Bulls. What was most remarkable though was that Durant did not have to be all that remarkable, even against playoff teams like the Nuggets and Spurs. He simply had to play his role and the team elevated its collective play to meet the challenge. This bodes well, because a time will come when KD will have to have that extra gear to tap into.

Westbrook_medium

RUSSELL WESTBROOK Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 23.0 7.8 8.0 0.3 0.8 5.3 3.5
JUAN Grade_aplus_medium
Russell Westbrook was far and away the best player on the court when the Thunder took down the Spurs on Saturday night. He absolutely dominated that game and for that he gets an A+ from me. Stars have to dominate in games like those, and Westbrook has never shied away from those moments. The fact that he averaged a near triple-double this week helps, too.
SHERMAN Grade_a_medium
Russell Westbrook punctuated a very good week with a dominant game against the Spurs. Playing in San Antonio, Westbrook did whatever he wanted to or needed to on the court, and the Spurs had no answer for his drives, his shooting, or his passing. Westbrook also finished the week with 3 consecutive shooting games in the high 50% range, a marked improvement that we hope continues.
Sefolosha_medium

THABO SEFOLOSHA Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 5.8 4.0 1.3 0.5 1.8 0.3 3.8
JUAN Grade_bminus_medium
Not a bad week for Thabo Sefolosha. His defense has been on point lately and that makes up for his inconsistent shooting. As long as Sefolosha continues to do his job, which is play defense, they'll be a spot for him in the starting lineup.
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium
Thabo Sefolosha is finally finding some rhythm this season after being wobbly for much of it. Sefolosha had a double-digit scoring game against the Bulls, and once again was a key ingredient in slowing down Tony Parker in OKC's Spurs win. While Thabo is still not producing in a way that he was a year ago, at least he isn't hurting the team as much with his sporadic performances.

Ibaka_medium

SERGE IBAKA Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 10.0 7.3 0.8 2.3 0.3 1.0 2.8
JUAN Grade_cminus_medium
Serge Ibaka has played at an all-star level this year, so he'll be graded like a all-star player. During the Bulls and Magic games, you almost forgot that Ibaka was even a part of the team. Some had to do with the fact that he was in foul trouble and never really got into the flow of the game, but 5 point, 3 rebound games cannot happen as the season goes on. He was really good in the other two games, however, and that's the only reason his grade isn't lower.
SHERMAN Grade_cplus_medium
While Serge Ibaka's numbers might appear to be down this week, it is because it was a strange mix of two games where he was very good (Spurs, Nuggets) and two games where he was nonexistent (Magic, Bulls). This is the kind of thing that can be maddening in watching Ibaka, as he goes through stretches where he looks like an All-Star, but interspersed are games where he simply disappears. I have yet to see an adequate explanation for it.
Perk_medium

KENDRICK PERKINS Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 2.3 4.0 1.0 0.8 0.3 1.5 2.0
JUAN Grade_c_medium
As Sherman will point out, Kendrick Perkins had more fouls than he did points this week. He barely logged any minutes against two of the four teams this week, BUT he didn't do anything to cost the team a game.
SHERMAN Grade_cminus_medium
This was not a good week for Kendrick Perkins, as he produced more fouls (17) than points (9). In addition, Perk continued to struggle against quicker teams, as in both the Spurs and Nuggets games he only saw a combined 28 minutes of play. Granted they are unfavorable matchups, but Perkins needs to be at least present in the game and make his minutes matter more.

Jackson_medium

REGGIE JACKSON Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 14.3 3.5 3.3 0.0 0.8 2.3 10.3
JUAN Grade_aplus_medium
Reggie Jackson has to be in the conversation for sixth-man of the year, even this early into the season. He is an absolutely difference-maker when he goes up against the other team's 2nd unit. He dominated the Spurs and Bulls this week. Neither team had an answer for him, and he had it going from downtown and would beat you off the dribble, too. He isn't a James Harden type player, but he's really freaking good.
SHERMAN Grade_a_medium
Reggie Jackson gets an 'A' for his Spurs game alone, as RJ continues to be a thorn in Popovich's side. Jackson runs the 2nd unit with aplomb, giving them a healthy dose of confidence so that they know that they are almost always going to play the other team's bench at the very least dead even, if not create a positive +/-. Jackson fuels the recoveries and the runs, and every game he has like in San Antonio, Thunder fans watch the price tag go up.
Lamb_medium
JEREMY LAMB Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 9.5 3.3 2.5 0.3 1.0 0.0 9.5
JUAN Grade_b_medium
I'm becoming a big fan of Jeremy Lamb, especially when he's out there with Steven Adams and Reggie Jackson. That unit is just so much fun to watch and Lamb has really benefited from playing with them. Besides the fact that he can put the ball in the basket, Lamb has shown a lot of improvement in the defense end. Jumping the passing lane for easy scores or just avoiding a bad foul call. He's only getting better with experience and his lack of confidence issues seem to be behind him.
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium
Jeremy Lamb's production took a slight hit this past week, but pay no attention to those numbers. Lamb continues to be a guy on the court during key runs in the game, and it is both his defensive rebounding and his heady play on offense that facilitates it. Jackson is the clear catalyst, but Lamb is a wonderful complimentary player who can run the offensive sets, set other guys up (Collison in particular), and is unafraid to fire his rainbow 3-pointers. As he grows, his grading curve stiffens.

Adams_medium

STEVEN ADAMS Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 3.8 4.8 0.0 1.3 1.8 1.8 2.8
JUAN Grade_bplus_medium The fact that you got into a players head so badly that he had to throw a punch at you, earns you a higher letter right away. His play on the court wasn't too bad, either.
SHERMAN Grade_bplus_medium
One of these days, some benchwarmer from another team is going to tell Kiwi Strong to meet him out in the parking lot after the game, and Steven Adams will do it and then promptly put the dude in a sleeper hold. Adams held his own against the Spurs' front line, got extended minutes vs Chicago, and managed to get Nuggets player Jordan Hamilton ejected. All in all, good week.
Collison_medium

NICK COLLISON Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 6.8 4.0 0.8 0.8 0.3 0.5 14.8
JUAN Grade_a_medium Nick Collison tied with Kevin Durant for the team-high in +/- this week at 14.8, which is really good. He wasn't just solid, he was actually pretty good. Just no more three's. Please?
SHERMAN Grade_a_medium
Even by Nick Collison's standards of excellence, he played particularly well this past week. He has been looking for his shot more, and over the past 3 games averaged over 8 per game. His lone blemish is that dastardly 3-point attempt vs the Nuggets.

Fisher_medium

DEREK FISHER Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 4.0 1.3 0.8 0.0 0.5 0.3 1.3
JUAN Grade_bplus_medium
Derek Fisher hit a three against the Spurs a couple of feet away from the 0.4 shot and that alone get's him a B. The fact that the Spurs and the fans fear him for that gets him a little extra credit.
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium I will just say that it is always amusing to watch Spurs fans flip out whenever Derek Fisher plays against them.

Jones_medium

PERRY JONES III Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 -1
JUAN Grade_cminus_medium
I'm a supporter of Perry Jones, but it's really hard to give him any type of grade when he doesn't get any burn. Despite his lack of minutes this year, he's shown me good things.
SHERMAN Grade_d_medium
Perry Jones didn't get any material minutes this past week, and as a consequence he was never given the opportunity to do anything of note. That's on Brooks, not PJIII.

Roberson_medium

ANDRE ROBERSON Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 2 1.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 -1.5
JUAN Grade_dplus_medium
Andre Roberson is back in his benchwarmer role and he may be taking his talents back to Tulsa sooner rather than later.
SHERMAN Grade_d_medium A week after getting 3 starts in place of Thabo, Andre Roberson was back to his benchwarming ways and nary got a chance to do anything of note. Methinks he may be heading back to Tulsa soon.

Thabeet_medium

HASHEEM THABEET Games Played PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
JUAN Grade_c_medium Hasheem Thabeet does what Hasheem Thabeet does.
SHERMAN Grade_c_medium
Hasheem Thabeet continues to do exactly what he needs to do, and do it competently without tripping.

Brooks_medium

SCOTT BROOKS Coaching Grade
JUAN Grade_a_medium Scott Brooks and his staff had the Thunder well prepared for a really tough week and it showed. Besides the Magic game where the Thunder avoided a letdown, the team looked ready to compete and win and I believe Brooks told the guys to not allow another close call to a potential letdown. His rotations have been magnificent. Not just this week, but the entire season. A 4-0 week will always get Scott Brooks a passing grade.
SHERMAN Grade_a_medium
Scott Brooks almost got an embarrassing blemish on his record by nearly losing to the Magic, but fortunately OKC prevailed and didn't look back. He got his team to beat the Nuggets, Bulls, and Spurs, 3 very, very different teams. The Spurs win is the icing on the cake, as Brooks used the right lineups for the right amount of time to nearly always keep the Thunder in a comfortable lead.

Thunder_medium

TEAM GRADE Record OffRtg DefRtg AstRatio REB% TS% PACE +/-
(Advanced Stats) 4-0 106.9 97.5 17.0 78.7% 56.2% 99.3 10.0
JUAN Grade_aplus_medium The Thunder might just be the best team in the league right now, but the crazy thing is that this team hasn't even hit their peak. This week they just finished beating 2 playoff teams and a tough defensive minded team in Chicago and they still haven't played their A+ basketball. Durant and Westbrook are posting great numbers, but they could be better. The shooting is slowly getting better and the second-unit is becoming better and better as the days go on. This team is quickly doing all these things and once they improve, it will be absolute gold. This is a really exciting time for this franchise.
SHERMAN Grade_aplus_medium
The Thunder did everything that they could do this week. A 4-0 record, 2 wins over playoff teams, and both offense and defense that continue to improve. While I'm still waiting to see Durant and Westbrook both play well in the same game at the same time, the fact that OKC can weather this storm with barely breaking a sweat is pure music.

*All player images via US Presswire

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