If we learned anything tonight, it’s that the Oklahoma City Thunder are not a superstitious team.
In a 118-109 win over the Atlanta Hawks, the biggest storyline coming out of the game is that the Thunder switched uniforms.
The first half saw the Thunder play in their sunset uniforms, which created a visual migraine as the orange mixed with the Atlanta Hawks’ red uniforms created an unpleasant scene.
According to ESPN, there was a mix-up with jerseys, which led to the Thunder changing into their white uniforms in the second half.
But the color of their jersey did not seem to matter much; after scoring 63 first-half points, the Thunder would go on to score 55 second-half points and that was enough to seal the deal.
This was a very evenly spread offensive contribution with the Thunder as they finished with six guys in double figures while another finished with seven assists. The Thunder finished with 31 team assists on 46 made shots.
“I think we really shared the ball tonight. I think this was our best game at just getting everybody else involved and playing real team basketball,” said Kenrich Williams
Once again, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was fantastic tonight. SGA finished with an efficient 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting, outscoring his 2018 Draft counterpart Trae Young, who scored just 17 points on 7-of-21 shooting. SGA did a great job at making it tough for Young to score and did not give him much breathing room to work with.
The other guy who was assigned to Young and hounded him all game long was Lu Dort. Dort also contributed on offense with 19 points and shot 4-of-9 from three. Dort was great tonight on both ends.
After scoring zero points in 30 minutes last game, Darius Bazley had a nice bounce-back performance tonight as he finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Bazley looked a lot more comfortable against the Hawks’ poor defense and did a great job at staying aggressive and not getting too down on himself, which has been a concerning theme lately for the sophomore.
Theo Maledon played a big role in the Thunder’s passing game tonight as he finished with 13 points and a career-high 12 assists. What makes this game even more impressive for the rookie is that he turned the ball over just once. Since George Hill’s injury, Maledon has stepped in nicely and been a consistent hand for the Thunder’s backcourt.
Off the bench, the Thunder had a three-headed monster in Williams, Mike Muscala and the season debuting Ty Jerome.
Williams finished with 15 points and did a great job at just positively contributing on both sides of the floor all night. Muscala scored 10 points that included him making a deep three.
And, lastly, Jerome made his much anticipated Thunder debut tonight, with Hamidou Diallo out the next couple games with groin soreness, and he did not disappoint one bit. Jerome finished with nine points, seven assists, and five rebounds in just 22 minutes of action.
It would be unfair to expect this type of performance from Jerome from here on out, but if he continues to play the right way and make the right plays, it is hard to envision him being sent back down to Orlando once Diallo returns.
Next Game: The Denver Nuggets come to town to play the Thunder Saturday night at 7 p.m. CT.