2014 NBA playoffs: how are the Thunder role players measuring up?

Jamie Squire

The Thunder role players are critical to the Thunder's success. How are they measuring up?

We have seen a tough matchup between the Clippers and the Thunder. In game one we witnessed the Clippers coming out victorious over the Thunder by 17 points. Above all, the credit goes to Chris Paul, who was the key player for the Clippers win. However, in game two, everything turned up upside down as the Thunder where able to control the game and win in the end by 11. In game two, the Thunder where able to lock down on Paul and prevent him on making these insane 3-point shots that he made in game one. That being said, Durant, Westbrook, Ibaka, Perkins, and Sefolosha stepped up in many different aspects in the game and were instrumental in the win.

We tend to focus on superstars who are the key players for both teams, such as Durant and Westbrook compared to Griffin and Paul. The fact is, secondary players such as Kendrick Players, DeAndre Jordan, Sefolosha, and J.J. Redick do also play a role and have a great impact. I believe the Thunder secondary players which I stated are the ones who are better for various reasons. Let us take a closer look.

Game 1: Kendrick Perkins vs DeAndre Jordan

Perkins: 3 points, 1 turnover, 1 assist, 3 rebounds, 100% FG and 50% from the free throw line in 13:34 minutes.

Jordan: 7 points, 1 turnover, 4 Steals, 5 rebounds, 100% FG and 12.5% from the free throw in line in 28:27 minutes

Game 2: Kendrick Perkins vs De Andre Jordan

Perkins: 8 points, 2 turnovers, 9 rebounds, 42% from the field, 100% from the free throw line in 25 minutes

Jordan: 7 points, 3 turnovers, 1 assists, 8 rebounds, 75% from the field, 50% from the free throw line in 29 minutes

Beside that, De Andre Jordan is taller and younger than Kendrick Perkins, who still suffers from the symptoms of his previous knee injury as well as a host of other maladies. We notice that Jordan was better in game 1 than Perkins, although Jordan played for 28 minutes in game 1 while Perkins played for only 13 minutes.

In game 2, it was a different story. Above all, Jordan played for more minutes than Perkins in game 2, but still Perkins was ahead statistically. We notice how Perkins stepped up his game from game 1 and 2, and I believe that Perkins will be able to continue on this rhythm as long as he gets inspired by his teammates.

Game 1: Sefolosha vs Redick

Sefolosha: 5 points, 2 rebounds, 50% from behind the arc, and 75% from the field in 15 minutes

Redick: 12 points, 3 assist, 3 rebounds, 50% from behind the arc, and 62% from the field in 24 minutes

Game 2: Sefolosha vs Redick

Sefolosha: 14 points, 3 steals, 1 assist, 40% from behind the arc, and 67% from the field in 21 minutes

Redick: 18 points, 1 steal, 50% from the behind the arc, and 70% from the field in 29 minutes

In game 1, Redick was better than Sefolosha in terms of points, assists, rebounds, while Sefolosha was better in terms of shooting from the field only. However, the difference between Sefolosha and Redick in game 1 statistically is not huge especially that Sefolosha played for 15 minutes only while Redick had the opportunity to play for 24 minutes.

In game 2, Sefolosha had the opportunity to play for 6 minutes more and he recorded 14 points, 3 steals, 1 assist, 40% from behind the arc, and 67% from field, while Redick played for 29 minutes and was ahead of Sefolosha by 4 points only, 10% from the field, and 3% from the field. When Sefolosha was given more minutes he had the ability to have a great performance and overcome his previous poor performance. When Perkins and Sefolosha played for more minutes, their performance increased a lot while when Jordan and Redick played for an average of 25 minutes, their performance did not really differ from their previous performance in game 1.

***

My name is Ali and I'm from Bahrain. I am 18 years old. In case you have no idea about the location of Bahrain, it is located in the gulf beside countries such as UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. That being said, sports are my passion, and in addition, soccer is the famous sport in Bahrain and 25% of the respective population play basketball. However, among the 25%, there are around 5-10% among the whole population who have a strong knowledge about the NBA. I am a basketball player who has a deep knowledge about basketball. I am a huge of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Although, I'm an Arab but I'd like to get involved with my Americans friends as I am looking forward to live in the USA and start my journalism career in it. It is my pleasure to be a contributor for WTLC.

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