In perhaps the Oklahoma City Thunder’s finest all-around performance this season, Russell Westbrook notched yet another ho-hum triple-double effort. Meanwhile, Westbrook’s Thunder teammates executed in near-perfect unison.
Opposite Detroit, Oklahoma City showcased a vigorous step that belied a team competing in its fourth contest in five nights. The same, however, couldn’t be said of the jet-lagged Pistons.
En route to redeeming an early-November setback, the Northwest Division leading Thunder’s all-around efficiency was luminescent. Billy Donovan’s crew doggedly corralled rebounds, while both denying their opponent’s perimeter options and optimizing their own.
In total, OKC converted 8-of-23 three-point attempts, all the while stinting Detroit’s deep makes to a paltry 1-of-19. For an Oklahoma City iteration yielding an NBA-worst 41% from distance over the past ten contests, this call to arms was imperative.
With competitive formalities against Detroit now settled, the Thunder has proffered a modest two-game winning streak. Here is a closer look at how OKC’s dynamic roster fared Saturday night opposite visiting Detroit.
Russell Westbrook: A+
Westbrook’s all-around brilliance was of a more subdued nature vs. the Pistons. Nevertheless, after casually amassing 17 points, fifteen assists, and thirteen rebounds, the NBA’s current scoring leader now finds himself tied for sixth all-time in career triple-doubles (44).
Steven Adams: A
The “Kiwi Warrior’s” early intensity provided OKC with an imperative competitive advantage. In total, Adams finished with a near double-double effort of 16 points and nine rebounds. However, most importantly, in 29 minutes Adams held All-Star Andre Drummond to just ten points and eight rebounds.
Victor Oladipo: A
Opposite Detroit, Oladipo fashioned another strong multifaceted outing. While supporting Westbrook’s efforts, the efficient shooting guard offered 18 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Overall, Oladipo connected on three-of-six 3PA, and netted the team’s second-highest defensive rating (76.8).
Anthony Morrow: A-
In addition to his season-best 21-point outburst (8-12 FGA, 3-6 3PA, 26 Min) Anthony Morrow led all Thunder players —who tallied five-plus minutes— in Offensive Rating (126.9). Moving forward, Morrow’s 16-17’ coming-out party bodes well for Oklahoma City’s wing depth conundrum.
Jerami Grant: B
Grant bolstered OKC’s bench barrage with 9 points, three rebounds, and one block (4-8 FGA, 1-3 3PA). The emerging forward also contributed an Oklahoma City reserve-best -plus 15 +/- while gaining a impressive 21.3 NetRtg.
Enes Kanter: B-
Kanter continued to optimize his on-court opportunities by scoring 12 points in 18 minutes of play. On the season, the 24-year-old ppm-producer wields a career-best, elite total of 22.9 ppg per-36 minutes.
Domantas Sabonis: C+
Though Sabonis supplied just three points (1-4 FGA, 1-2 3PA) and three rebounds in 24 minutes, Oklahoma City’s NetRtg was -plus 45.9 with Sabonis roaming the floor. While just a rookie, Domas is quickly becoming the Thunder’s irreplaceable “glue guy.”
Andre Roberson: C+
Roberson’s 85.2 Def Rtg was bested only by V05’s among OKC players to log 30-plus minutes. The defensive-minded starter shut things down from the perimeter while adding a non-detrimental four points and two assists.
Joffrey Lauvergne: D+
Though “King Joffrey” dropped six points and four rebounds in only 12 minutes, the hybrid forward/center finished with a woeful -68.1 NetRtg. With Lauvergne in tow vs. Detroit, the Thunder surrendered an astronomical 159.1 pp100p, while scoring just 90.1 pp100p.
While Joffrey’s personal statistics have risen of late, still the team suffers a precipitous drop-off when he enters the fray.
Thunder Game Ball: With all due respect to Russell Westbrook, the WTLC gameball vs. Detroit goes to Anthony Morrow. After scoring just ten points in the season’s first ten games, the former Yellow Jacket has buzzed with offensive firepower in his past two outings.
With Oklahoma City’s current roster construct, Morrow’s continued ppg contributions are vital to the winning process.