It was a week full of a lot of entertaining games by the OKC Thunder. The only loss this past week came when they had a game winning shot hit against them (Denver). Not bad for the second best team in the Western Conference. We start this week same as last week.
Buffy Summers Award (Team MVP) - Russell Westbrook
Remember a few years ago when a lot of national NBA people were saying that the Thunder should trade Westbrook for Rajon Rondo or Chris Paul? They said that ultimately Durant and Westbrook wouldn't work because Westbrook shot too much and took away from Durant's game? Yeah...that was cute wasn't it?
What Westbrook did scoring this week was just sick. He got off to insanely hot starts in the game and his speed and ability to get to the basketball completely destroyed the Lakers. He averaged 33 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists. I mean he was even able to get Hasheem Thabeet a basketball on a roll to the basket.
Tom Haverford Award (Best Supporting Player) - Serge Ibaka
Ibaka stepped up the scoring averaging 16 points this past week. What really got him the award this week was the huge three he hit to kill the Lakers' rally. After that three with 3:41 left the Lakers did not score again. GAME...IBAKAS...
Kickpuncher Award - Serge Ibaka
I am sure Ibaka figured since he was in L.A. it would be a perfect time to audition for the Kickpuncher spin off film Nutswatter. I was and am shocked that Ibaka was not suspended for that play. It seemed that there was clear intent but I don't work for the NBA office which is good news for the Thunder since all that happened to Serge was a 25K fine.
Block Party Award - Hasheem Thabeet
Thabeet will not find himself winning a lot of weekly awards but what he did to protect the rim vs. the Clippers earns him a spot for at least one week.
Crazy Ass Shot Award - Kevin Durant
I mean seriously how in the hell did he do that?
Screen Bee Award - Nick Collison
I have been looking for an excuse to give Collison some love for a while now and after last night's game vs. the Lakers it felt like a good time to do so. This award is pretty specific for Collison because he is freaking awesome at setting screens. I mean like...REALLY awesome at it. He is to setting screens what Michonne is to killing zombies. He ability to read the situation and how the defensive is playing and where to go once he sets the screen is one of those little things that fans like and coaches love. And this is coming from an Mizzou fan saying something nice about a KU Jayhawk.
Prometheus Award (Biggest Disappointment) Kevin Martin vs. Nuggets
I was completely disappointed in the lack of production by Kevin Martin in this game. He completely no showed and his lack of production costed the Thunder this game. 3 points on 1-5 shooting is not going to cut it for the Thunder's best bench scoring option. I don't want to keep harping on it but that game is why it is clear that the Thunder lost the James Harden trade. Harden's impact for the Thunder was not just by scoring the ball. He controlled the game tempo, created for others and knew how to get to the foul line.
K-Mart's only way to impact the game is by scoring and when he is only attempting five shots and only making one of those shots those limitations effect the Thunder greatly. At this point in the season there really isn't any excuse for Martin to only attempt five shots and to be that ineffective.
Speaking of James Harden I was thinking about this the other day. If Harden had resigned with OKC in the off-season would he still be coming off the bench? Just something that crossed my mind.
Walter White Empire Scale - 9 (Last Week 6)
This is one of the highest points on the scale the Thunder have reached since I have been writing this post. The Thunder were a game winning shot by Ty Lawson away from maybe achieving the top spot on the Empire Scale. I am struggling with why the Thunder struggled vs. the Nuggets. At first I thought it was because of the physical play of the Nuggets. They were able to physical and fast with the Thunder and teams that have beat up the Thunder have been able to make them struggle. See the Miami Heat. But then on Sunday I saw the Thunder dominate the Clippers in a very physical, tough game. So they kind of threw that theory out the window.
One thing that worries me about the Thunder is that if things go bad early and they get frustrated they struggle to over come that. It was seen in the loss to the Jazz and the Heat before the All-Star Break. I was really encouraged with how the Thunder fought back in the game vs. the Nuggets and put themselves in a position to win the game. Thankfully this has not been a constant issue that has cost the Thunder games this season. I just wish I knew exactly what it was that starts the team down this path of frustration because in order to fix a problem you must first diagnose said problem.
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