9 wins in their last 12 games puts the Thunder at 17-15 on the year, which is currently good enough for the 5th spot in the Western Conference.
Last night, OKC shot 53.7% from the field. Russell Westbrook was 12-17, Steven Adams was 6-9, and Carmelo Anthony was 8-19 (7-12 3FG). That last line should really stick out to you, as Melo has had difficulty finding any sort of efficiency so far this season. He was extremely effective in the pick and pop, and looked comfortable and composed throughout Friday’s game.
Efficiency makes things much more fun, and it’s clearly catching on in OKC. I get it, they barely beat the Hawks, but a win is a win, and it keeps things moving in the right direction.
Back to Russ, the reigning MVP has gone 47-76 over his last four games. That’s a 61.8% clip. This three game homestand? 30.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 3.0 steals a game. That line comes along with a 65.5% rate from the field.
Friday night, Westbrook was the Thunder’s savior yet again. In thwarting a Hawks’ comeback, OKC’s leader helped them to avoid an atrocious loss to an Atlanta team that was playing without point guard Dennis Schroder. Westbrook finished with 30 points, 15 assists, and 7 rebounds while going 5/5 from the line. To say he’s coming up big would be a massive understatement, but here’s the highlight everyone’s talking about:
- In his second game back from injury, Steven Adams, the world’s greatest basketball player, finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
- OKC was 13/25 from beyond the arc. Good.
- OKC turned the ball over 19 times. Bad.
- OKC’s free throw shooting almost killed them last night. They were 19/31 from the line.
- The third quarters woes returned on Friday, as Atlanta outscored the Thunder 31-18 in the quarter thanks to 7 OKC turnovers.
- Melo had 24 points on 8/19 shooting. His 7 threes were certainly a step in the right direction. Here are his postgame comments about embracing his role:
Carmelo Anthony on working to adjust to his offensive role: “I think for me it’s just a matter of accepting that role.” pic.twitter.com/R9hvaO0yYc— Royce Young (@royceyoung) December 23, 2017
- Josh Huestis saw 25 minutes of action on Friday, which was most likely a result of Andre Roberson’s inability to hit from the free throw line and outside of the paint.
A Look Ahead
The Thunder get no rest, as they head right to Utah to face off against the Jazz tonight.