The Thunder played a gallant Game 6, winning both the game and the Western Conference Finals series. Things looked bleak at first, but their perseverance, dedication to one another and their system, along with some greatness from their MVP, enabled them to recover in time and win in the end. Onward march.
34 points on 9-17 shooting, 12-15 from FT line, 14 REB, 5 AST, 1 ST, 2 BL, 2 TO
||As Sherman says below, his grade isn't really made through his points. Rather, it's through the sheer amount of rebounds he got as a small forward. Sure, he played 48 minutes, but four of his boards came during the fourth quarter. And even though he was pretty exhausted by the end of the game and didn't have much of a shot, he was still able to get to the line and contribute to the Thunder's point totals. And 5 assists? Two of them were really sick passes into the paint. Heck, he took his first charge of the season tonight. His scoring was only a bit above average (KD average, that is), but he absolutely killed it everywhere else.|
||Kevin Durant ended this series hitting all the right notes that you need from your superstar and team leader. He produced points when he had to and did it on good shot attempts, he set up his teammates when he had to, and he was an absolute monster on the defensive glass, grabbing 14 huge rebounds. His rebounding total cannot be understated; one of the ways the Spurs could have recovered was by grabbing offensive rebounds, yet time and time again KD reached up as high as his 6'10" frame and 7' wingspan would let him, preventing the Spurs from getting valuable tip-outs and open looks.|
25 points on 9-17 shooting, 8 REB, 5 AST, 1 BL, 5 TO
16 points on 4-9 shooting, 5 REB, 4 AST, 3 TO
More grades after the jump.
10 points on 4-8 shooting, 4 REB, 2 BL, 2 TO
9 points on 4-7 shooting, 1 AST, 1 ST, 0 TO
||When you're this clutch, I tend to throw away the rest of the game. Hey! Have you heard? It's the Fish that saved OKC.|
After two lackluster games, Derek Fisher showed up in a big way in Game 6. The key for Fisher is to never try to do more than he is capable, and his shot selection bore that out. He really only forced one shot, and that turned out to be a clutch bank-shot that he sunk with less than 2 minutes to play. Most important though, Fisher was assigned to Tony Parker for stretches in the 4th, and the old timer did really, really well against the younger and quicker Parker. Fisher got up into Parker's body, refused to allow him to come clean of of picks and turn the corner, and helped limit Parker to a mediocre 6 points in the final quarter of play.
4 points on 2-8 shooting, 3 REB, 2 AST, 2 ST, 1 BL, 1 TO
9 points on 4-5 shooting, 4 REB, 1 AST, 2 ST, 1 TO
||I kinda touched on this in my full recap, but Thabo hit a big momentum changing shot in the second quarter. It's something that's easily overlooked, but I think the Thunder were feeling overwhelmed at that point in the game, with the Spurs easily answering any shot the Thunder took. But to me, when Thabo Sefolosha crossed over Gary Neal and hit a jumper right in his face and then stopped Tony Parker in his tracks on the next possession, it sent a message. Later in the third, Sefolosha was a big part of the offensive run that got the Thunder back in the game. Sure, his defense might have been lacking, but his offensive improvement overlaps that, in my opinion.|
|Sherman's Grade||For a half, we began to wonder where Thabo Sefolosha was. Parker was once again tearing up the defense, and the Thunder's Swiss weapon against the Frenchman was either not assigned to guard him or not getting the job done. That more than anything else is what made us nervous during the first half of Game 6. However, Sefolosha bounced back in the second half and maintained his brilliant defensive play against Parker, limiting him to only 8 2nd half points and 2 assists. On top of that, Sefolosha hit two huge baskets during the Thunder's comeback stretch, showing that the team trusts him to step up when needed.|
0 points, 4 REB, 1 TO