2013 NBA Playoffs: Thunder vs Rockets, OKC player grades for game 5

J.A. Sherman

The Thunder once again miss an opportunity to close out the series, losing an embarrassing game at home to the Rockets 107-100.

The Thunder dropped a 2nd consecutive game to the 8th seeded Houston Rockets. In a baffling turn of events, the Thunder lost in every single quarter, shot a collective 8-33 from 3-point range, and never seriously threatened the Rockets the entire 2nd half. We break down each individual performance in today's grades.

Our game 5 graders are Ramona and Craig.

KEVIN DURANT

36 points on 11-23 shooting, 1-8 from 3-point range, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 3 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_a_medium
Kevin, in his multiple roles as point guard, small forward, and one of the game’s top rebounders, looked fine once again. KD went scoreless in the fourth, taking on another role as decoy, and opening up scoring opportunities for Jackson.
Craig Grade_a_medium
He was the only reason the Thunder was able to stay in the game. The scoreless 4th quarter was troublesome but he did score a billion points in the 3rd quarter. There is a great chance that after the game KD kicked a gigantic hole in a wall in the locker room. And by wall I mean Kevin Martin’s chest. Get well soon Russell Westbrook.

REGGIE JACKSON

20 points on 7-15 shooting, 2-6 from 3-point range, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_b_medium Great 4th quarter. Late in the game, Reggie found that little floater. Maybe he can use that more in Game 6.
Craig Grade_cminus_medium
Bad turnovers and taking deep one on one threes are not Jackson’s game. That happened too often in this game. Russell Westbrook can do those kind of things because he is Russell Westbrook.

SERGE IBAKA

14 points on 7-14 shooting, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_b_medium Decent game. Serge shot 50% from the field. He was the top rebounder and had some strong put-backs. He more than made up for that missed shot at the end of last game.
Craig Grade_b_medium
Watching the game and then looking at the box score I was kind of surprised with Ibaka’s final stat line. It did not feel like he had his usual impact on the game even though the stats say otherwise. Maybe the stink of players not named Durant rubbed off on him.

THABO SEFOLOSHA

9 points on 3-8 shooting, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_a_medium Thabo had some solid numbers. He wasn’t flashy on the floor, but he had a legitimate game.
Craig Grade_dplus_medium
James Harden hit the first seven 3s he attempted in the game. I know Thabo wasn’t the only guy guarding him all game but he is the "defensive stopper" on this team. He gets the plus for the back to back threes he hit to keep things from getting out of hand in the second half.

KENDRICK PERKINS

2 points on 1-3 shooting, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 0 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_f_medium After getting beaten repeatedly on several rolls to the basket by Asik, Perkins exploded when Parsons got away from Durant, and Perk picked up a foul on Parsons. He angrily screamed at KD to play some (beep)ing defense. I certainly understand passionate outburst. But then, he glared at KD and screamed the same thing again. Perk gets the F for falling apart.
Craig Grade_f_medium
Omer Asik did work in the paint on the pick and roll game in the second half and Perk could do nothing to stop it. Asik is not one of the centers that should be giving Perkins this much trouble but that is the problem with playing Perkins. He has become a liability on defense. That would have been blasphemy to say two years ago but a lot happens in two years.

KEVIN MARTIN

3 points on 1-10 shooting, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_f_medium In order for the Thunder to advance in the playoffs, their third option needs to score more than one basket when their second option is out for the postseason. Enough said.
Craig Grade_f_medium Is there a grade lower than an F? How about an F-? If so then Kevin Martin deserves it. Sans one game K-Mart has no showed this entire series. This game could have been won by the Thunder if they would of got any impact from Martin on offense. He was the main piece in the now infamous Harden Trade and in this series he is proving that the Thunder lost that trade. At least they lost it in the short term. An adjust the Thunder need to explore for game 6 is a Freaky Friday body swap between Kevin Martin and James Harden. Hell I am sure at this point the Thunder would try that body swap with Martin and Francisco Garcia. If they need tips on who to pull it off I know there are two Greendale Students who could lend their talents to help out.

DEREK FISHER

8 points on 2-6 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_b_medium Fish was exceptional on the defensive end, getting in position to take several charges. However, he shot under 50% offensively.
Craig Grade_d_medium
Hit a few threes but was completely unable to keep anyone in front of him on defense. Makes it difficult to get into position to take a charge when Patrick Beverley and Aaron Brooks are blowing past you on their way to the basket.

NICK COLLISON

6 points on 3-3 shooting, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, 0 turnovers


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_a_medium Perhaps, he didn't play long enough to play poorly. However, when he did play, he took care of business. Nice put-backs. Nice rotating defense.
Craig Grade_c_medium
I mean when he actually got to play he had an impact on defensive with two blocks and had a tip in rebound. It would have been nice to see him more than seven minutes in the game. Maybe Scott Brooks was resting him for game 6 because I can’t really think of any other reason for him to only play seven minutes.

DeANDRE LIGGINS

2 points on 1-4 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_b_medium DeAndre put great pressure on the ball handler. He did what he always does. He brought energy into the game, had a nice drive and dish, and blocked one shot.
Craig Grade_cplus_medium
He lands a C+ simply for the play where he got the ball deep in the corner. Faked the pass then drove the baseline and wrapped around the basket and smartly passed the ball to a cutting Ibaka for the dunk. That was a very impressive and smart basketball play by a very young player. Although I must say I kind of wish he would of tried to throw it down. Just to see if he could have done it.

SCOTT BROOKS


Grade Comments
Ramona Grade_f_medium Even I started pulling for Asik to hit his free throws so we could get back to playing the game. Evidently, Coach Brooks no longer believes his team can beat the Rockets.
Craig Grade_dminus_medium
I was fine with the Hack-Asik when he called for it. Coaches tend to wait too long to use the foul in order to extend the game and create an advantage for themselves. Brooks saw an opportunity to use the Hack-Asik game plan and it worked. Well, it worked briefly. Brooks waited way too long to jump out of the Hack-Asik once he started doing it. The Thunder cut the lead to six and that is when they should have stopped fouling and played some defense. But that did happen and Asik got in a groove and made Brooks looks stupid. Also, why in the hell was Nick Collison glued to the bench in this game? Was Brooks worried that Ronnie Brewer was getting lonely and wanted to give him someone to talk with during the game? I am not saying that Collison’s playing time was the difference in the Thunder winning this game. But he does add a lot of energy and hustle when he plays and that was lacking very early and often for the Thunder.
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