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Thunder Views: Maintaining a Greek God, OKC defense, and balance!

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Last night we saw OKC’s best half of the season. Even Andre Roberson was playing with confidence!

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Greek Freak vs the OK3! Russ and the gang took the first battle last night in what was arguably the Thunder’s best performance of the season. The defense shined and everybody contributed on the offensive end, but let’s talk about Giannis!

Spotlight

So the Thunder faced the Greek Freak last night. The (potentially) mythological figure finished with 28 points, but OKC actually did a pretty good job against one of the most difficult players to defend in the world. It’s hilarious that giving up 28 points can be considered “good” defense, but with Giannis Antetokounmpo, it is. They forced him to take a lot of jumpers, which isn’t normally his game. OKC wanted him taking those shots — he was just making them. Turns out he’s really good at everything. Imagine having an “off” night and still scoring 28 points? Jeez.

Another quick spotlight should be cast on the entire Thunder team. On offense, there was a perfect balance that created some of the best possessions of the season. Whether it was the starters, Melo with the second unit, or Roberson finally contributing, everything was great. The Bucks’ defense was all sorts of messed up.

Defense? Awesome. The rotations were seamless, Milwaukee’s transition game was held in check, and they forced Giannis into jumpers. All good signs for Donovan’s club.

Quick Rumbles

  • Russ finished one assist shy of a triple double. He did not play in the fourth quarter. Final line: 12-10-9.
  • Balance, you say? Russ: see above. George: 20. Melo: 17 and 8. Grant: 17. Adams: 14 and 11. That’s Sam Presti’s dream right there.
  • Andre Roberson played with confidence for the first time in a while last night. He swished two free throws as the crowd chanted, “Air-Ball”, was great on defense, and even knocked down a three. Yeah, he was 1-5 from beyond the arc, but this was the best Roberson we’ve seen in a few weeks. Still not great, but definitely better.

Robes even had a little bit of love for the Bucks fans after converting:

  • Billy Donovan ran a 9 man rotation for the most part in Milwaukee - leaving Huestis on the outside looking in. He played just 6 minutes.
  • Steven Adams got T’d up last night. Why? I don’t really know why. I’ll let you look for yourself:
  • The Thunder elected to not pick up Josh Huestis’ fourth year option yesterday. No, that doesn’t mean he’ll be gone next year.

A Look Ahead

OKC heads home to face the Boston Celtics on Friday night. The Celtics are riding a five-game winning streak and welcome the Sacramento Kings to the TD Garden on Wednesday before they travel to Oklahoma.

With the loss of Gordon Hayward, Jaylen Brown has quickly stepped up to fill the scoring void. The C’s sit at 5-2 on the year. They also have some guy named Kyrie Irving. He’s pretty good.

This will be OKC’s fifth Eastern Conference opponent out of their first eight games.