Weekly grades: the Spurs get swept, Serge Ibaka dominates, Kevin Durant's streak lives on

This week, the Thunder went 2-1 and got the big win against the West's best that they needed. How did each player do?

The Oklahoma City Thunder started the week strong, defeating the Jazz and Spurs, but then fizzled by losing to the Rockets. Here is how each player performed!

Game 1: Thunder get payback vs Jazz, 116-96

Game 2: Thunder sweep Spurs in regular season, win 106-94

Game 3: Sloppy Thunder fall to Rockets on road, 111-107

***

Durant_medium

KEVIN DURANT Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 37.3 29.0 7.7 6.0 0.3 0.3 4.0 +7.3
JUSTIN Grade_aminus_medium
KD's numbers were certainly impressive but his rhythm offensively seemed a bit off.  He shot 37 percent against Houston and 42 against the Spurs, though, I have to generous...after all, he did make history.
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium You wouldn't know it by looking at Kevin Durant's numbers for the week, but it was a bit of a down week for the MVP candidate. Was the pressure of the 25+ point scoring streak getting to him? It kind of felt like it, as he struggled to an 11-26 shooting night vs the Spurs and then needed a 3-pointer in the final moments of the Rockets loss to get there, and especially against Houston he was missing a lot of shots he usually makes. Or perhaps it's simply the fact that when you keep inserting and removing Westbrook, the constant change makes it difficult to establish offensive rhythm.

Westbrook_medium

RUSSELL WESTBROOK Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 2 27.5 23.0 3.0 5.0 0.0 2.5 2.0 +10.5
JUSTIN Grade_a_medium
Westbrook had an excellent game against San Antonio.  He played suffocating D while facilitating the offense as well.  His reverse dunk was pretty awesome too.  Despite Westbrook's two solid games, I have to agree with Sherman and say that I wish I could've seen another Beverley/Westbrook brawl.
SHERMAN Grade_a_medium
Russell Westbrook had a strong week, making his presence known once again in San Antonio. What makes him so effective against the Spurs is not only his own offensive game, but how he frees up Jackson do do his own thing as well. I really would have liked to see Westbrook go against Houston, who was without Patrick Beverley on the night.
Sefolosha_medium

THABO SEFOLOSHA Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
JUSTIN Grade_c_medium
The return of Sefolosha will be epic...I think...not really.
SHERMAN8 Grade_c_medium
Thabo Sefolosha is rumored to be returning during the current road trip. Optimism?

Ibaka_medium

SERGE IBAKA Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 35.7 18.3 9.0 2.0 4.3 1.0 0.7 +8.3
JUSTIN Grade_aplus_medium
Watching Serge against the Spurs was like watching Michael Jordan against a 5 year old.  He dominated the paint, especially on defense.  Versus Houston, no one could take it to the rim with Serge protecting it...no one.
SHERMAN Grade_a_medium
Serge Ibaka just finished up a very, very good week. As the defensive stalwart, he controlled the paint both vs the Spurs and the Rockets. In fact, if you watched the Rockets game closely, you could see that the Thunder were allowing Houston to drive the ball to the rim, almost intentionally. Why? Because Serge was wiping out everything that came close to the rim.
Perk_medium

KENDRICK PERKINS Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 1 12.0 0.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 0.0 1.0 +2.0
JUSTIN Grade_bplus_medium
I never realized the difference Kendrick Perkins made until the Spurs game.  He set major screens and is an immovable object.  His return keeps the bench high functioning, unlike before.
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium
Kendrick Perkins made his return against the Spurs, and it didn't take long for him to immediately start tussling with Tim Duncan and pick up a tech. His numbers don't indicate much, but one of the big things that Perk brings is that he makes the entire team's bench rotation work better, as Adams and Collison don't have to worry about being the primary big men, but can work against 2nd units.

Jackson_medium

REGGIE JACKSON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 33.0 15.5 5.5 5.5 0.0 1.0 1.5 +3.0
JUSTIN Grade_a_medium
Reggie Jackson is hot.  When he works with Westbrook, they can make for one of the most dangerous 1/2 combos in the NBA.  Jackson has been taking it to the rim with ease and finishing flawlessly.  He has been shooting well and is just playing phenomenal offense.
SHERMAN Grade_a_medium
Reggie Jackson got to play against his favorite team this week in the Spurs, and once again he proved that the Spurs have a major problem in how to deal with the Thunder's attack when they put both Westbrook and Jackson on the court at the same time. More than that though, I love his confidence both in getting back to the rim again as well as finding open shooters. I just wish he'd cool it a bit on the 3-pointers. His best work happens elsewhere in the offense.
Lamb_medium
JEREMY LAMB Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 15.0 7.3 1.7 1.7 0.0 0.0 0.7 +6.0
JUSTIN Grade_bplus_medium
Jeremy Lamb finally had the opportunity to do what he does better than anyone on the bench, isolation.  As KD got heavily bombarded against Houston, Lamb would execute his ball handling and take it to the rim.  In a short period of time, Lamb was efficient and made an impact on the outcome of the game.  It would be nice to see this every game...GIVE LAMB A CHANCE!
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium
Jeremy Lamb finally saw his minutes and responsibilities rise again this week, particularly against the Rockets. Here is what perplexes me the most these days, and it isn't even about whether Lamb's shot is falling. Vs the Rockets, Houston was taking away Durant with double teams and daring guys like Fisher and Butler to beat them off the dribble. Neither of those guys can. You know who can? Lamb. He's got exceptional ball-handling skills, can get the ball to the rim, and in 22 minutes put up 12 points on 5-8 shooting. He's such an easy solution to when defenses load up on Durant and Westbrook is out, I wish OKC would take advantage.

Adams_medium

STEVEN ADAMS Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 14.3 5.0 5.0 0.3 0.0 1.0 1.0 +8.7
JUSTIN Grade_bminus_medium
Kiwi Strong is back on the bench with the return of Perkins, and he played well.  He equaled as many points as rebounds against Utah and helped contain the front court of the Spurs.  We are seeing more offense from our favorite Kiwi lately.
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium
Steven Adams did his best work this week against the big front line of the Jazz, where he recorded an 8-8 on the night. Unfortunately his effectiveness didn't quite carry over to the Spurs, but fortunately the Thunder front line was stout enough to ward off Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter.

Collison_medium

NICK COLLISON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 17.3 5.7 3.7 1.0 0.3 0.3 1.7 +0.3
JUSTIN Grade_bplus_medium
Nick Collison made one of his four made threes this whole season....for that I give him a B+.
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium Nick Collison, dropping 3-point bombs, hitting turnaround jumpers, and looking sharp with his tight hair cut. Here comes the Collison freight train. Woowooo!

Butler_medium

CARON BUTLER Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 30.7 10.7 2.7 1.7 0.0 1.7 0.0 +0.7
JUSTIN Grade_b_medium
Okay, I don't like the guy and his insane amount of minutes, but, he is shooting the three very nicely.  He went 5/5 against Utah and 3/5 against Houston from behind the arc.  Not too shabby.   You win this time, Caron.
SHERMAN Grade_bplus_medium
I gotta let the minutes go for Caron Butler. Nearly 31 per game? Oy, but it's here to stay. What we need to see though is what Butler does well - spot up shooting, and less of what he doesn't, which is everything else on offense. I do like his improved defense though; 50% of defense is just wanting to be a good defender. Metrics, man.

Fisher_medium

DEREK FISHER Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 19.3 4.3 2.0 2.3 0.0 1.0 0.7 -1.7
JUSTIN Grade_dplus_medium
It's simple Brooks, he is a great spot up shooter, not isolationist.  That is all.
SHERMAN Grade_cminus_medium
It's not the shooting percentages that get me. I swear it's not. Rather, it's the fact that Brooks keeps putting Derek Fisher in a position to fail rather than succeed. Fisher can't run HORNS, he can't post up, and he can't create dribble separation, so Brooks needs to stop asking him to do it. Not only can he not do that now, he's NEVER been able to do it his entire career. To ask him to do it now is a recipe for pain.

Jones_medium

PERRY JONES III Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 2 2.5 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 +0.5
JUSTIN Grade_d_medium
Nothing much to say...he played 5 minutes for two games altogether.  It would be nice to see more playing time for Jones III, I just don't see it coming anytime soon.
SHERMAN Grade_d_medium My everlasting question is, what exactly happened to Perry Jones in between the time he was helping shut down LeBron James and what we see now, which is a guy who looks like the team has given up on?

Roberson_medium

ANDRE ROBERSON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 15.7 1.7 4.0 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.7 +6.7
JUSTIN Grade_cminus_medium
Andre Roberson had a pretty decent week.  He rebounded and scored a few points against San Antonio.  Brooks does not expect much from this rook and either do I but I would like to see a bit more offensive production and confidence.
SHERMAN Grade_b_medium
"Animal Style" gets a passing grade on the strength of his defensive effort against the Spurs, but most especially because of the 3-pointer he hit that pushed the Thunder into the lead. Roberson is likely to see his minutes vanish once Sefolosha comes back, so he may as well get up the shots now.

Thabeet_medium

HASHEEM THABEET Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 2 10.5 1.0 0.5 0.0 1.5 0.0 1.0 +1.5
JUSTIN Grade_d_medium
Utah Jazz Game- 19 minutes, 5 fouls...enough said.
SHERMAN Grade_cminus_medium
Hasheem Thabeet is out there...which is something to be said. I can live with the bumbling hands and the stumbling feet, but if Hash is going to have any impact at all, he's got to stop picking up offensive fouls that cost his team possessions.

Brooks_medium

SCOTT BROOKS Coaching Grade
JUSTIN Grade_b_medium
The bench rotation was improved and he gave Lamb a chance.  Now I would like to see the utilization of Derek Fisher properly used.  Brooks is setting him for failure by making him create his own shot.  Not a bad week, but not a great week coaching wise for Coach Brooks.
SHERMAN Grade_bminus_medium Points for Scott Brooks for getting his defense going against the Spurs and for giving Lamb a chance, even if his hand was forced a bit. Should I take away points for the Rockets mess? I probably shouldn't, given how little was at stake, but isn't there a coaching technique that can be used to get your players to stop fouling jump shooters? 

Thunder_medium

TEAM GRADE Record OffRtg DefRtg AstRatio REB% TS% PACE +/-
(Advanced Stats) 2-1 115.3 103.4 18.0 49.8% 60.8% 96.1 +9.3
JUSTIN Grade_aminus_medium
Great week for OKC.  This Spurs win was much needed.  The defense was aggressive and the bench filled their roles nicely.  If Serge continues to be a crazy man on D and Durant keeps making history, the Thunder will be in good shape as the post season rolls around.  Keep it up guys!
SHERMAN Grade_aminus_medium It's amazing how this league is such a, "What have you done for me lately?" kind of thing. The Thunder destroyed the Jazz and controlled the Spurs, snapping SA's 19 game winning streak, Durant reached game 40 with 25+ points, and yet all I can think about is that 4th quarter against the Rockets. Perspective, I keep telling myself.

*All player images via US Presswire

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