The Thunder finished Round 2 in convincing fashion, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1. The entire series was an entertaining affair, with the Thunder winning convincingly in Game 1 and Game 5 and winning it close in Games 2 and 4. Most impressive was the way that the Thunder closed out each of their wins. With the exception of the free throw fest that was Game 3, OKC always knew exactly what it was trying to do down the stretch and key players rose to the challenge. The Lakers are gone, and the Thunder receive their Round 2 grades here.
26.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 3.2 APG, 0.6 BPG, 1.6 SPG, 2.8 TPG
25.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.6 SPG, 0.8 TPG
15.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.8 SPG, 2.3 TPG
More grades after the jump.
8.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 0.8 APG, 4.0 BPG, 0.4 SPG, 0.2 TPG
4.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 TPG
4.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.2 APG, 2.2 BPG, 0.4 SPG, 1.4 TPG
2.0 PPG, 0.0 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.0 SPG, 0.0 TPG
||Aside from his Game 1 performance, Cook has been AWOL. He's gone from a serious part of our offense to the guy who randomly takes one three per game. Honestly, against an inside-oriented slow-paced team, it just wasn't his series. We'll need him to step up against the Spurs though, who are much more offensively potent.|
It would probably be better to give Cook an 'incomplete' than an actual letter grade. I really expected him to play a bigger role in attacking the slower Lakers defense, but he really only made token appearances after Game 1. If Durant has the opportunity to play more in the post in the next round, Cook may be able to serve again in spacing out the Spurs' defense.
4.4 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 0.2 BPG, 1.4 SPG, 0.6 TPG
3.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.2 BPG, 0.4 SPG, 0.6 TPG
2.8 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.2 APG, 0.6 BPG, 0.0 SPG, 0.0 TPG
||I credit most of the success in this series to a change of attitude by the players, rather than a change in coaching strategy by Brooks. I could be wrong, but I don't really see him having told Westbrook to attack the rim more. But I do credit him for using all four of the Thunder's big men in this series (as opposed to three against Dallas) and keeping opportunities well distributed among the team. Still, he failed to make some key adjustments on defense against key Laker defenders, so I don't credit him with anything too brilliant. Still, a nice performance.|
||Perhaps Brooks' greatest attribute at this point is to allow his key players to fully engage their talents when the time is right. In Game 4 in particular, we saw Westbrook revert to his 2011 honey badger mode and take over the second half of the game, and even though Westbrook still had a few reckless forays, Brooks stayed with him. Sometimes the best thing a coach can do is get out of the way and let his players do the work. It might not seem like coaching, but it is still the right decision.|