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Midseason Grades

Chuck Chaney January 28, 2013 Comments Off

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Oklahoma City is in the midst of a wild run to atop the Western Conference. Despite the random road losses, Oklahoma City is still in great shape with about three months left in the season. Each player has contributed in their own way. I decided to grade each player on their performances this season: 

Eric Maynor: F
I want to give this guy a break. He just is coming off a tore ACL. However, he’s not explosive anymore. His shooting percentages have dropped like a stock market crash. He went from one of the league’s best point guards to a player who missed nine consecutive games due to the fact there are better players than him. What a depressing fall for Maynor.

Daniel Orton: Incomplete
Orton hasn’t spent much time with the club. He’s been in Tulsa as much as the Thunder have been able to send him there. I don’t think he’s still ready for the NBA. I don’t know if he’ll ever be ready. For now, he’s enjoying his time in the D-League.

Jeremy Lamb: Incomplete
Lamb, like Orton has spent a lot of time in Tulsa. He has played in a couple of games, and they weren’t very good. He did have a solid performance against Atlanta. However, games against Detroit and Denver lead you to believe that time would be better spent in Tulsa. One thing is clear though, tons of upside for this player. He’s going to be legitimate.

Perry Jones III: C
Again, another player that has been in Tulsa quite a bit. However, he’s been with club a bit more than the previous two. He hasn’t done too much that has hurt his stock. Then again, he hasn’t done too much to help it either. He does just enough that he doesn’t mess things up too much.

Hasheem Thabeet: B+
Thabeet has come lengths and bounds from what was expected from a “Draft Bust.” He’s now a decent back up, and that’s what Oklahoma City needed. Now, you cannot rely on him every game, but he does just enough that the Thunder aren’t fully regretting signing him. That’s good then.

DeAndre Liggins: A+
How far has Liggins come with the Thunder? Hard to believe that he was a camp invitee. Then he made the roster. Then wasn’t expected to contribute too much. Now he’s a fixture in the line up and is making a huge difference. He may not be scoring points, but he definitely is helping defensively.

Reggie Jackson: B+
It’s hard not to give Jackson an A+ after knowing how far he’s coming since last season. However, he’s still a defensive liability at times, and doesn’t make the best decision when he’s on the court offensively. He has tons of upside, and he’s still learning .Jackson has a chance to be a really good ball player.

Thabo Sefolosha: C+
I want to give Thabo a B+, even an A. Yet, I continue to look at his inconsistencies. They’re annoying. He struggles hitting layups, layups in the fast break. He hesitates, showing lack of confidence when shooting the ball. His defense is no where near as good as it has been in the past. Definitely could be better.

Kendrick Perkins: F-
Perkins, by far, gets the lowest grade. He’s inept on offense, and is basically invisible on defense. They call him a Dwight killer, but we need him for the rest of the league, but he’s not. Like Maynor, the knee injury has stopped him from becoming the player he used to be. Everyone wants that, but it’s not coming. Thunder keep him around for his chemistry, hard to argue with that, I guess. YES WE CAN.

Nick Collison: B
The man behind the charge. He’s spark man, and he’s really just a solid, under rated player. His offensive game has been lacking this season. Percentages are down, attempts are down. I assume that Collison knows that shots are rare right now, but he’s doing what makes the team better. We love him for that.

Kevin Martin: C
Calm Down Thunder fans. I’m being picky on Martin here. He has heavy shoes to fill. He is very inconsistent on the road and at times, just stands in the corner and doesn’t do anything. His road woes are really hampering Oklahoma City, and that has to be fixed if Oklahoma City is going to win a world championship.

Serge Ibaka: B+
Ibaka, defensively, yeah he’s blocking shots. However, one-on-one, he’s not nearly as good as he was last year. He’s more banged up than he has been in the past. Not saying he’s not really good. I just don’t think he’s as good as he was last year on the defensive end. I’d give him a C- based on that alone. Yet, offensively, he’s becoming a threat and teams are leaving him open. He’s a blooming offensive player, and it’s making Oklahoma city a lot better. Championship caliber.

Russell Westbrook: A
He does what he wants, when he wants and he doesn’t care who knows it. He’s the epitome of the Honey badger. He’s becoming a stellar defender, and he’s already an explosive scorer. For Westbrook to take the next step, he needs to become more consistent. He has cost Oklahoma City a few times with his poor shooting.

Kevin Durant: A+++
This is the man, the myth, the legend. He’s having a great season. He’s getting close to averaging a double-double and that’s awesome. Never thought he would get close to a double-double average. He’s on the verge of a 50-40-90 season. (50 percent shooting from the field, 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line).  He’s also the best defender, statistically, the Thunder have. He’s come a long way since he was the worst defender his first couple of years.

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief. Member of the Professional Basketball Writer's Association. Lover of Advanced Stats. Russell Westbrook apologist.