What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
It's nice to get a win, but did this game really have to be as close as it was? I mean, a complete defensive shutdown of the Nets is one thing, but our pithy offensive game wasn't much to see tonight. The only times I felt our offense was clicking on all cylinders was when we were getting out in transition or taking advantage of the Nets' lack of size down low. The Nets constantly got in our passing lanes, and ball movement in our second unit was staggered, at best.
What was tonight's turning point?
The Thunder were at a constant 10 point lead, so there was no real turning point. But the point when the Nets lost all hope of a comeback probably came with 1:52 to go in the fourth, when a Stevenson three was responded to with a Westbrook jumper.
What was, overall, the main reason the Thunder lost/won?
Some excellent defense overall. The Nets really had trouble finding success inside because of their lack of size. Mehmet Okur was hardly a part of the offense at all, and Shelden Williams can't be counted on for much. The result was basically Kris Humphries trying to score in the post on his own, while everyone else shot threes. Deron Williams did a good job of finding players in the right spots, but the Nets players were almost always covered inside the arc.
What's the key statistic to understanding tonight's game?
The Nets shot 13% from beyond the arc on 23 attempts. A lot of the threes they took were wide open or pop shots in transition. It just seems that nothing was destined to fall.
What does this game mean for the Thunder today and moving forward?
We move to 13-3, and are a half a game behind the Bulls for first place in the NBA. We are 1.5 games ahead of Denver in the Western Conference and the Northwest Division. It also raises some serious questions about our offense, and whether we can compete with a team that can actually break through our defense in the doldrums of the second and third quarter.
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, for his rebounds. Yeah, I'm a grinch, but he had as many rebounds as Perk and Ibaka combined, and more defensive rebounds than all of the Thunder big men combined.
Thunder Down Under: James Harden, for basically carrying our second unit.
Thunder Blunder: Serge Ibaka, who hasn't been an offensive threat since the Devon Tower topped out.
Thunder Plunderer: Deron Williams, for initiating what little offensive ball movement the Nets had.
Next Game: Versus the Detroit Pistons, Monday, January 23rd, 7 PM Central Standard Time