Oklahoma City jumped on the young New Orleans Hornets early and often. The Thunder led by as many as 29 in the first half. Oklahoma City won 110-95 after the second string gave the Hornets a bit of life. The Thunder won their fifth straight game over New Orleans. The Thunder victory moved their record to 7-3 on the season. They also moved to 3-0 after a loss this season.
Ball Movement was awesome
From the pick and rolls, and just swinging it around the perimeter, the ball movement was great all night long. Even when the second string came in the game, the continuity was there on moving it. Oklahoma City had 31 assists tonight. That’s a team record for most assists in a game. Previous high was 30. Only four players who got burn tonight did not record an assist; Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb, Deandre Liggins and Serge Ibaka. Russell Westbrook was the gem of it all. He had 12 assists tonight.
This team has learned what’s working: See Three-Point shooting
It started with Kevin Martin, and continued with Martin. Then continued with the copious amounts of three-pointers. If you look at the statistical trends for Oklahoma City, the Thunder know if they’re not shooting the deep ball well, they just forgo it and try to find a way to get it done. Last year, this team would have just kept them flying. However, the thunder used it to their advantage. They hit a team record 14 threes in a regular season game.
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The Thunder would have never gotten off to the hot start without him. He scored 11 first quarter points in five minute. Let’s say he came out like he did against Memphis, and scored zero points. It would have been a six or seven point game, Oklahoma City may not have been as successful as they were tonight.
If the Thunder are going to continue winning ball games, they need him every night. No more passive nights. He has to be aggressive and let the ball fly tonight. When they start pushing you off the perimeter, then you attack the rim
Turnovers were better
Going into the fourth quarter, the Thunder only had nine turnovers heading into the fourth quarter. Then the Thunder put their reserves in the game. they coughed it over four times in the fourth. Which, for the most part, I’m okay with. Young players are going to turn it over. Only way they’re going to get experience and learn from things, is by doing. It didn’t hurt the game. Yeah, Hornets got it within 15 points, but the game was never REALLY in doubt.
Fast Break Points are needed
I know Harden is gone, but you still have to be able to score in transition. The Thunder do not do that anymore. They only had 13 points tonight on the fast break. While our offense is still a stagnant in isolation, we were able to move the ball off rebounds and turnovers last season. Not happening this year. We have to improve on this, and I think we will in time.