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Thunder Views: It’s Raymond Felton’s world, we’re just living in it

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It was the bench that came up big for OKC last night.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder were able to snap their losing streak last night in Charlotte. It wasn’t pretty, but when they look back on this game in two months, it’ll be a W on the calendar.

So did OKC right the ship on Saturday? Probably not, considering they shot just 40% and went 8/26 from long range. However it is a step in the right direction, as the Thunder bench was alive and well last night.

When the fourth quarter began, OKC trailed by 3. Raymond Felton, Alex Abrines, Patrick Patterson, Jerami Grant, and Josh Huestis then proceeded to shoot 8/12, and suddenly the Thunder led by 9. This was the turnaround Billy Donovan was looking for, and OKC’s bench was the difference maker.

Before we talk more about the bench, I should point out Steven Adams’ performance. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 steals to help the Thunder put an end to their losing streak. Adams in vitally important to this team’s success, especially when Andre Roberson is out of the lineup, and last night was a prime example of that.

Spotlight

Raymond Felton is 33 years old and currently finds himself being one of the most important players on this Thunder team. As OKC lost three games in a row, there was one bright spot. It was Ray.

The Thunder bench has a net rating of +6, which is good enough for sixth in the league. Much of that is thanks to Felton. He’s shooting nearly 50% from the field while averaging 7 points and 2.5 assists. When guys like Abrines and Patterson waver, Felton remains consistent, proving his worth to Presti and Donovan. He’s been a tremendous upgrade from the likes of Semaj Christon and Norris Cole.

On a team led by three superstars, Raymond Felton remains relevant. His value is something that is oftentimes overlooked but should never be taken for granted.

Quick Rumbles

  • Russ had 25-7-10, while Paul George finished with 17 points and 8 boards. Melo was just 3/14 from the floor. He finished with 7 and 10.
  • OKC won the fight down low, as they out-rebounded Charlotte 57-50 and had 44 points in the paint compared to the Hornets’ 34.
  • The Thunder had just 9 turnovers on Saturday.
  • Abrines played 14 minutes last night. He finished with 9 points on 3/7 shooting and was +13. He was out there making plays too!
  • Paul George did a thing:

A Look Ahead

The Thunder look to continue their winning ways tomorrow night at home against the Kings. Maybe we’ll have a Roberson return in the near future? *Prays intensely*