Game On: Thunder @ Pelicans

Published: December 2, 2014

The Thunder have returned to scary.  Westbrook is back.  Durant will probably be back tonight.

It doesn’t matter what sort of rust their might be clinging to Durant’s game, put those two guys on a floor together and fireworks will happen.  So the question is:  Can the Pelicans stymie the Thunder as they begin their quest to recover and roll to the playoffs?

Normally, I’d take a look at what the Thunder have been doing this season and identify their weaknesses, but that won’t inform this discussion – the Thunder squad that played the first 16 games of the season will be different than the one playing tonight.  Instead, I’m going to look at what they did last year.

  • Last season the Thunder were in the bottom 10 in only one of the major phases of the game: Turnovers.  If you get them moving off the dribble, they become mistake prone.  Make Ibaka move, make Westbrook make a change of direction, force Reggie Jackson to make decisions, and turnovers can happen.  The Pelicans need to play conservative defense and cut off first options, forcing the Thunder to think, adjust, and hopefully make mistakes.
  • Attack Perk, Collison and Adams.  All three of those guys are high-volume foulers – Perk being slow, Collison becoming old, and Adams being young.  You can get them off balance, so have Anderson attack them in the post, and set up Tyreke and Jrue to come of screens and try to blow by them.  Free throws.
  • Hit a shot.  Please guys?  When I said before the season that our guards may just be average, I was hoping you would prove me wrong.  Worse, we’re getting a brand of average that is like a roller coaster, with guys playing either terribly or excellently.  Just hit the open shots and layups, and Davis will carry this team home!

Enjoy the game.


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