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Thunder Stock Report – Who’s Up, Who’s Down, Who’s Treading Water

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Here’s my first Stock Report of Thunder players, since the season is approximately 10% completed. It is important to look at this through the proper lens; for example, I have KD as "treading water" but that’s mostly because he is performing as expected on the whole. Feel free to disagree below. More after the jump.

Stock Up

  1. James Harden – He has been as silky smooth as advertised. Scoring hasn’t come as easily as it did for him at ASU, but of course he was the top dog on that team and that isn’t the role he’s being asked to fill immediately. His passing/playmaking abilities have been better than I remember from his Sun Devil days.

  2. Etan Thomas – He provides some toughness and rebounding off the bench that this team sorely needs. I would hope his minutes and production would increase as Krstic continues to struggle.

  3. Thabo Sefolosha – He has been the heart and soul of the defense so far, the teams’ defensive stopper. Thabo also has contributed on the offensive end. His numbers are up all over the board from his career averages (FG%, 3PT %, rebounds, steals, points). He also is a huge boost to the team with his energy and contributions to team chemistry that can be seen from watching the games. This continues to look like a great pickup from the Bulls last year.

Stock Down

  1. Shaun Livingston – He hasn’t been able to beat out Kevin Ollie for minutes at the backup PG spot. I don’t know how he looks in practice, and I trust the coaches to know much more than I do; I just know that he has fallen far from the promise he held as a Duke super-recruit and 4th overall pick by the Clips.

  2. Nenad Krstic – His shooting is slightly down from previous years; as is the case with Durant, if he was making a few more shots it could have altered the outcome of a game or two (for example, the 3-8 he threw up against the Lakers; one more shot wins the game in regulation). His rebounding is below average for someone playing at the 5 position, and he’s even below his career average so far this year.

Treading Water

  1. Russell Westbrook – The flashes of brilliance are there, and I (along with many OKC fans) expect great things from him. However, its important to remember that he is a 20-year-old 2nd year player. He will make mistakes from time to time. He turns the ball over too much and is a streaky shooter, which has him on this list. Both assists and turnovers are up from last year, signifying to me that he is trying to do a lot more but succeeding in doing some of it.

  2. Kevin Durant – Obviously being among the league leaders in scoring is where we imagined KD being, but I’m not sure how many of us would have guessed that he’d be among the leaders while shooting so poorly (20%) from the outside. If he’d only shoot his career percent (35%), he’d be averaging almost 2 more points a game. Especially given the close calls against the Lakers and Kings (and to a lesser extent, the Blazers), this would have been huge. He’s not playing near his best, yet he’s still a better defender and rebounder while scoring at a great clip. This is obviously an encouraging sign.

What do you think? Through 10 percent of the season, who is exceeding your expectations, who is below them, and who is pretty much where you thought they would be?