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Thunder weekly grades: Without Durant, Westbrook struggles to keep Thunder rolling forward

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The Thunder finished their week at an even record of 2-2 and gained ground in the standings. Did Durant, Westbrook and the gang do enough?

The Thunder finished the week 2-2, which was solid, but we will long think about the one that got away in Golden State, and the ending of the Pelicans loss keeps OKC out of the seedings. Which players did the best and which ones struggled?

Game 1: Thunder rough up Kings, 104-92

Game 2: Thunder can't overcome loss of Durant, fall to Warriors 114-109

Game 3: Without Durant, Thunder hold on for win over Lakers, 104-103

Game 4: KD-less Thunder fall late to the Pelicans, 101-99

(editor's note - Kyle Ramos submitted his grades prior to the Pelicans loss)

***

KEVIN DURANT Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 2 27.0 28.0 2.5 2.0 0.5 0.5 2.0 +10.0
JUAN
grade_A
Kevin Durant showed everyone why he's the MVP during the game against the Warriors. 30 points in 18 minutes is absurd and there's maybe a handful of people that can do that in this league. It's unfortunate that KD went down during the Golden State game or the team could've gone 4-0 this week, instead of 2-2.
KYLE
grade_A
Though KD had a little bit of trouble knocking down shots in the victory against Sacramento (12 of 25 for 26 points), he responded with a monster performance against Golden State. Even before the high ankle sprain sidelined him, Durant's 30 points in 18 minutes showed flashes of why this man is the defending MVP and why a healthy Thunder team is still a very credible contender.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 35.7 31.2 4.7 8.3 0.0 2.5 3.5 +7.2
JUAN
grade_A
Russell Westbrook struggled from the field against the Pelicans, but he had a good week and was back in the lead role for the Thunder against the Lakers and New Orleans. The team split those games, but Westbrook put up some pretty sick numbers this week.
KYLE
grade_A
The MVP buzz around Russell Westbrook continues to be warranted as his stats this week reflect. He was phenomenal against the Kings on both sides of the ball, scoring 32 points with 7 assists, 6 boards and 4 steals. Though his Durant-less efforts fell short in the second half and on the road against a scary-good Warriors team, Westbrook did his part in leading the Thunder offense against the Lakers including some clutch buckets down the stretch.
SERGE IBAKA Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 36.2 10.7 6.7 1.2 3.7 0.5 1.2 +6.7
JUAN
grade_Bminus
Serge Ibaka and the rest of the Thunder's frontline got abused by Anthony Davis on Sunday but that happens to a lot of people these days, so I'll forgive it. Ibaka was blocking shots left and right this week and had 7 against the Kings. I personally would've liked to see some more offensive punch from Serge.
KYLE
grade_Bplus
This week was nothing special for Serge Ibaka offensively, but his contributions on defense were noticeable as he compiled 15 blocks over the past 3 games. The growing confidence in his 3-pointer has helped the Thunder with floor spacing and he performed well in that area, shooting 50 percent from long range this week.

ANDRE ROBERSON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 29.7 7.7 7.0 1.7 0.2 1.5 1.0 +8.0
JUAN
grade_Bplus
Andre Roberson pulled down his first career double-double and held Kobe Bryant to single-digit scoring all in one week. That's a pretty good week, if you ask me.
KYLE
grade_Aminus
We saw some really good growth from Andre Roberson this week, including his first career double-double (10 points and 10 rebounds) against the Warriors. His most eye-opening performance, however, was defending and shutting down Kobe Bryant, holding him to a mere 9 points on 3 for 15 shooting. Roberson is quietly improving and proved that he can lock down even the most daunting defensive assignments.
STEVEN ADAMS Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 27.0 8.0 8.7 0.7 1.0 1.0 1.7 +8.0
JUAN
grade_Bminus
Steven Adams had a solid week, especially rebounding the ball for the Thunder this week. And apparently, Swaggy P's right arm is not just for buckets. Way to go, Steven.
KYLE
grade_Bminus
Steven Adams had another solid week, recording 10 rebounds in 2 out of the 3 games for Oklahoma City. He's also looked great with his dirty work outside of the box score, screening well and being physical as usual. Not to mention, his ability to agitate the opposition earned him a shot to the throat by Nick Young in Los Angeles, adding another member to the ever-expanding "I Hit Steven Adams and Got Ejected" Hall of Fame.

REGGIE JACKSON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 27.2 14.0 3.2 3.5 0.2 0.2 1.2 -6.2
JUAN
grade_C
Reggie Jackson was so Reggie Jackson this week. He struggled like crazy against the Warriors and Kings and then goes on to score 25 against the Lakers and 19 against the Pelicans. If only we could get that latter Reggie instead of the one that was throwing bricks against the Warriors and Kings. His +/- didn't really help him out this week, either.
KYLE
grade_Bminus
There are some games (like the ones against Sacramento and Golden State) where Reggie Jackson struggles mightily and seems very detrimental to the Thunder's chances of winning. However, there are also plenty of other games (like the one against the Lakers) where he steps up when the team needs him and plays insanely well. That's what we saw in Los Angeles where he came off the bench to score 25 points and dish out 5 assists in his 35 minutes. Jackson's great showing is still a bit marred, though, by his lackluster performances earlier in the week that featured some textbook hero-ball shooting and over-dribbling.
JEREMY LAMB Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 8.7 3.2 2.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 -2.7
JUAN
grade_D
Uhh...Jeremy Lamb, are you there?
KYLE
grade_Cminus
The hot streak that Jeremy Lamb was riding is definitely over now, as he shot just 31 percent in these past three games, missing every single 3-point attempt in the process as well. Scott Brooks has seemingly adjusted his rotation accordingly, as Lamb was played just 12 minutes per game this week compared to his 18 last week.

KENDRICK PERKINS Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 17.0 2.0 3.3 1.0 0.3 0.0 1.0 -7.3
JUAN
grade_Cminus
Tough week for Kendrick Perkins because the Thunder played four teams this week that OKC literally had no use for Perkins. He was forced to sit out the Lakers game, but we're glad to see him back out there for the Pelicans game.
KYLE
grade_Cminus
Though he has been a solid backup for the Thunder bench defensively this season, this week was not reflective of that. Perk was a part of the bench unit that surrendered a sizable lead in Sacramento, generally ineffective against the Warriors and he was also forced to sit out against the Lakers due to a knee contusion.

NICK COLLISON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 15.6 3.3 3.3 0.6 0.3 0.3 1.3 -4.3
JUAN
grade_Cplus
Nick Collison did just thing against the Lakers but other than that, it was a quiet week for him.
KYLE
grade_Cplus
The long-tenured Thunder big man played well in the most recent game against the Lakers, posting 4 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists in his 21 minutes, but a forgettable game against the Kings and a DNP-Coach's Decision against the Warriors made for a somewhat quiet week for Collison

PERRY JONES III Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 14.7 4.0 2.5 0.0 0.2 0.0 0.2 -6.5
JUAN
grade_Cminus
It was a rough game for Perry Jones against the Kings with that -22 +/- rating but he played well against the Pelicans so that gives him a little bump up from me.
KYLE
grade_Dplus
What really sticks out for PJIII is his abysmal +/- this week, including a -22 performance against Golden State. His role in the rotation has fluctuated since his return from injury and Jones has subsequently struggled to produce on the court.

ANTHONY MORROW Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 20.0 7.0 2.0 0.5 0.2 0.2 0.0 -4.0
JUAN
grade_Cplus
Not the best week for Anthony Morrow but it tends to happen with pure shooters like Morrow. We all know what he's capable of when he catches fire from behind-the-arc.
KYLE
grade_Cplus
It has not been a great week for Morrow, but it hasn't been all that bad either. He hit three of his five 3-point attempts against the Kings, but didn't even attempt a single one against the Warriors in his 26 minutes of action. Morrow has still fit into his role as a deep threat overall, even during slower weeks like this one.

ISH SMITH Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 1 1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
JUAN
grade_C
Nothing against Ish Smith but I like it when he only comes on for garbage time because it means Westbrook and Reggie aren't injured.
KYLE
grade_C
Garbage time only for Ish Smith which is pretty expected when the Thunder are fully functional and healthy.

MITCH MCGARY Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 0 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
JUAN
grade_C
Rough rookie season for Mitch McGary with all the injuries. Hopefully he can get back out there soon for the Thunder.
KYLE
grade_C
Another injury setback has made for a really rough year for Mitch McGary. Hopefully he can bounce back and work his way into some minutes and gain valuable experience before the games become even more important.

Thunder_medium

TEAM GRADE Record OffRtg DefRtg AstRatio REB% TS% PACE +/-
(Advanced Stats) 2-2 106.8 105.3 14.6 49.2% 54.1% 98.4 +2.7
JUAN
grade_Bplus
A 2-1 California trip is always good, but the Thunder did lose to the only team that owns a playoff spot during that trip in the Warriors. The KD injury might've cost them that game and didn't help their chances against the Pelicans in New Orleans especially with a bad fourth quarter. The Thunder finished with a 2-2 record this week, but they're showing signs of becoming a top team again and hopefully the Thunder can keep making up ground and get into that 8th seed because it depresses me seeing them out of it.
KYLE
grade_A
2-1 in this California road stretch was pretty successful for the Thunder, though they very well could have been 4-0 had Durant not sprained his ankle and continued his assault on the Warriors and then fell short to New Orleans by a basket. The Lakers game was much closer than they would have liked it to be, especially with how bad Kobe was struggling, but a road win is always a good win as the Thunder continue to inch their way back into the playoff picture.

SCOTT BROOKS Coaching Grade
JUAN
grade_Bplus
I have the same complaint that Kyle has (you'll see it in the comment below) but other than that, I think Scott Brooks has done a solid job and has the Thunder right back in the race after a nightmare start to the season.
KYLE
grade_Bplus
My only critique of Brooks this week would be his rotation against Golden State. When the Warriors went small in their lineup, Brooks felt the need to match up with that instead of keeping Steven Adams out on the floor and also not using Nick Collison at all off the bench. I get that he didn't have Durant for the entire second half, but small-ball lineups are a strength from the Warriors this year and that could have possibly been exploited by Brooks if he went with the size advantage. Other than that Golden State game, I'd say Brooks managed his rotations well and the team played accordingly.

*All player images via www.usatodaysportsimages.com