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Thunder weekly grades: Tough road trip for Durant, Westbrook keeps Oklahoma City at .500

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The Thunder went 2-2 over the past week. Which players performed best?

The Oklahoma City Thunder started out strong on their 5 game road trip, but in the end they could not stop the streaking Hawks or the recharged Cavaliers. Here is how each player performed!

Game 1: Thunder grind out win over Heat 94-86, cross .500 for first time this season

Game 2: Thunder prevail in OT over Wizards, 105-103

Game 3: Thunder winning streak snapped by Hawks, 103-93

Game 4: Thunder end road trip with a loss to Cavaliers, 108-98

***

KEVIN DURANT Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 41.0 26.5 6.0 5.8 1.3 1.3 1.5 -2.3
JUAN
grade_Aminus
Kevin Durant has a rough week shooting the basketball, but still managed to put up good numbers this week. I wish he would've played better against Atlanta, but his performance against Washington was remarkable, especially down the stretch.
SHERMAN
grade_Cplus
I'm not sure if it is fatigue or lingering injury or something else, but KD doesn't pass the eye test to me in terms of his energy level. While his numbers appeared really good against the Cavaliers, instead I saw a player who was mostly disengaged during the game when he should have been the focal point of the offense. With 5 minutes to play, he missed 2 out of 3 FT's which could have cut the lead to 2 possessions, yet his body language showed more disinterest than frustration.

RUSSELL WESTBROOK Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 38.3 23.8 7.5 9.0 0.3 2.5 3.0 0.0
JUAN
grade_Aminus
Russell Westbrook struggled putting the ball in the basket against Cleveland, but still came away a rebound away from a triple-double. I personally prefer an under-control Westbrook, but his out-of-control playing style is what separates him, so performances against Cleveland are a little easier to take. Westbrook also made the game-winning play against Washington, which bumps his grade up a bit.
SHERMAN
grade_Bplus
I would give Westbrook an 'A' for his two performances against the Wizards and Hawks, but his shooting struggles against Cleveland really hurt the team, especially because he missed so many opportunities at the rim. However, against the Wiz and Hawks, I was greatly impressed with Westbrook's commitment to execute their designed game plan, even if his own offense came at its expense. The Atlanta game would normally be one where he turned into a chucker, but he stayed committed and showed some serious growth in maintaining the team's focus.
SERGE IBAKA Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 34.5 11.0 7.3 0.8 1.3 0.8 2.0 -3.8
JUAN
grade_C
Okay, so I'm going to pick on Serge Ibaka a little bit right now. Ibaka attempted 20 three-point shots this week. He also had 0 free throw attempts this week. That's an absolute problem for me. I totally understand that the game has evolved to where you need a stretch four, but that doesn't mean an athletic freak like Ibaka can't get in the lane and draw some fouls. His numbers were subpar this week, and it doesn't help when you literally get no free points.
SHERMAN
grade_C
We will have more to say about Serge, but right now I am wondering if opposing teams have essentially decided to yield the 3-point shot to Ibaka. Yes, he might make 2-3 of them a game, but what OKC loses by essentially inverting Ibaka and Roberson on offense where Ibaka is the SG and Roberson is the PF, removes Ibaka from doing all of the other things on offense that he does really well. I am wondering this because especially against Cleveland, there were are few 3-point attempts where the Cavs left him so open it almost looked by design.

ANDRE ROBERSON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 15.3 3.3 2.8 0.8 0.3 1.0 0.5 +1.3
JUAN
grade_B
Andre Roberson starts but doesn't get many minutes for the Thunder, but he's been making those minutes count for the most part.
SHERMAN
grade_Bplus
Do I wish that a guy who can't shoot should be getting more than 15 minutes a night? Yeah, I kind of do. At the very least, Roberson understands his role and rarely deviates from his responsibilities, which means that almost all the time when he's on the court, he's working at doing the things he knows he does well. He'st starting to knock down the corner-3 better, and he took a few on the chin battling LeBron and didn't flinch. In fact...
STEVEN ADAMS Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 28.3 8.3 10.0 1.0 1.3 0.0 0.7 -3.0
JUAN
grade_Aminus
Steven Adams grabbed 20 rebounds against the Wizards, and that alone earns him an A-. I personally would've loved to see a little bit more from Adams in his other two games. Migraines sidelined him against the Cavaliers, which was a tough loss for the Thunder.
SHERMAN
grade_Aminus
Wow, I had forgotten how ineffective Perk can be in a starting lineup against a team that plays small. Steven Adams, please rest your noggin and be ready to battle against Nikola Pekovic tonight.

REGGIE JACKSON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 18.8 6.3 3.0 2.3 0.3 0.5 1.0 -0.3
JUAN
grade_Cplus
We got good Reggie Jackson against the Heat, and then we got bad Reggie Jackson the rest of the week. Consistency, Reggie, pretty please.
SHERMAN
grade_D
I can't help but feel that they're losing Jackson, just like they lost Lamb and Jones. I'm not arguing that the Thunder's season hinges on Jackson, but you know, it kind of does. KD and Russ will be good enough most nights to beat a lot of teams, but this OKC squad doesn't become a legitimate playoff threat unless their bench rediscovers itself, and Jackson is the only one with the talent to do that. He has to fight to get back some of the minutes he has lost to Waiters, otherwise he may find himself in a very discouraging situation when summer arrives.
DION WAITERS Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 29.8 8.3 2.0 1.0 0.3 1.3 0.8 -10.0
JUAN
grade_Cminus
Dion Waiters is a hit or miss type of players, and this week, he was a miss pretty much every game. He shot the ball poorly, and his -10 +/- is just not going to be okay.
SHERMAN
grade_Cminus

Waiters' numbers are great production for a guy playing 15 minutes a night.

15 minutes a night....

KENDRICK PERKINS Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 19.8 3.5 4.8 0.5 0.8 0.3 0.5 +3.8
JUAN
grade_Bminus
Kendrick Perkins is never going to fill up a stat sheet but he does compete extremely hard. Am I the only one that was really happy for him when he started against the Cavs? Because my happiness was borderline weird.
SHERMAN
grade_Cplus
Perkins' Cavs game was a clarifying moment. He just can't start anymore against competent teams. So he struggled, and the Cavs actually outrebounded the Thunder despite OKC being the best in the league at rebounding while Cleveland is middle of the pack. Perk is at his best when he's not the best option at center. Let's get him back to being at his best.

NICK COLLISON Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 3 10.0 1.7 2.3 0.3 0.0 0.3 0.0 +0.3
JUAN
grade_C
Nick Collison does what Nick Collison does.
SHERMAN
grade_C
Nick's star is slowly fading into the sweet good night. At least his hair is still pretty epic.

PERRY JONES III 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 +3.0
JUAN
grade_C
Perry Jones played 48 seconds this week and missed his only shot. The Perry Jones life.
SHERMAN
grade_C
Sigh.

ANTHONY MORROW Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 4 19.5 6.8 1.8 0.3 0.0 0.5 0.3 -1.5
JUAN
grade_C
Anthony Morrow shot the ball decently this week, but his presence alone does help the Thunder out. His ability to spread the floor for Durant and Westbrook is something that the team hasn't had in a long time. Now if only his shots would start going in more often.
SHERMAN
grade_Bminus
I really liked Morrow's contribution against the Wizards. He hit a clutch contested layup late in the game that tied things up, even though his 3-point shooting is sporadic. Only 3 shots against the Cavs though, despite a ridiculous 30 3-point attempts flying at the rim, including 9 from Ibaka and 7 from Waiters. I question this shot distribution.

JEREMY LAMB Games Played MIN PPG REB AST BL ST TO +/-
(Average Stats) 1 1.0 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 +3.0
JUAN
grade_C
Jeremy Lamb also played 48 seconds this week, but he hit his only shot. Now that's the good life.
SHERMAN
grade_C
Double sigh.

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 +3.0
JUAN
grade_C
Guess how many seconds Ish Smith played this week? Yup. 48.
SHERMAN
grade_C
Wasn't there a time this season when Ish Smith took Lamb's minutes because, in Brooks' words, "he stays in front of his man on defense?" Can we invoke that corollary toward guys who take bad shots?

Thunder_medium

TEAM GRADE Record OffRtg DefRtg AstRatio REB% TS% PACE +/-
(Advanced Stats) 2-2 96.2 100.7 16.0 48.4% 48.1% 97.8 -2.5
JUAN
grade_B
A 2-2 record over a week isn't what you hope for, but it's not the worst record possible when you consider who the Thunder played against. OKC played against 3 of the top 4 teams in the Eastern Conference, and played against a good, pesky Heat team. After a great win against the Wizards, it looked like the Thunder started to run a little bit out of games and playing two really good offensive teams in Atlanta and Cleveland can't help that. All in all, it was a semi-successful road trip for OKC.
SHERMAN
grade_Bminus
Sound judgment instead of emotion pushes this grade up from a 'C+' because I'm still thinking about how badly OKC played in the 4th quarter against the Cavs.  I was very happy with the execution in Washington and Atlanta, despite the loss in the latter. I thought that was a great game to take away some valuable lessons. Those lessons did not make it to the Cleveland airport. We're now still sitting at a .500 record. In the words of Bill Parcels, you are what you are.

SCOTT BROOKS Coaching Grade
JUAN
grade_B
Scott Brooks has some work to do when calling end-of-the-game plays. Other than that, I don't know what else he could've done during the two losses this week.
SHERMAN
grade_B
I was generally pretty happy with Brooks' coaching this past week. I tend to give coaches a pass on in-game rotation adjustments because it is incredibly difficult and there are only 1-2 coaches in the league who really seem to know how to stay on top of it. He set up some great end-game sequences vs the Wizards and had a clear game plan in place against the Hawks that they nearly pulled off a huge win over the NBA's hottest team. The Cavs game was a bit of a disaster though, so I can't grade higher.

*All player images via www.usatodaysportsimages.com