The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to 1-2 last night losing 104-95 at home to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Thunder shot 46.5 percent from the field but turned the ball over 20 times in the loss while allowing Atlanta to shoot 49.4 percent from the field.
OKC spread the ball around with 27 assists on the night but the offense in the fourth quarter lacked a real purpose as they simply could not get buckets when they needed them.
The Hawks were without Josh Smith and are incorporating some new pieces to the team themselves so losing to them at home is a pretty big surprise.
On to the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 42 minutes, 22 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists – B
Durant had another all-around statistical game rebounding and dishing out assists but he simply needs to score a little more too. He had 11 of his 22 points in the first quarter and taking just 17 shots and eight free throw attempts was less than OKC needed from him today. The increase in assists are nice but they are coming at a price of more turnovers as well as Durant had six tonight.
Russell Westbrook – 36 minutes, 14 points, 9 assists, 5 rebounds – C
Westbrook hurt his left shoulder in the first quarter and seemed to be unable to find a rhythm all game long. He went 5-for-18 from the field and that doomed the Thunder in this one. He went 2-of-6 from deep which was too many shots for him from the outside when he would have been better off attacking the rim more. His nine assists had a lot to do with shooter making jumpers rather than passes leading to easy layups and dunks.
Serge Ibaka – 37 minutes, 14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks – B+
Ibaka played his best game of the season shooting 6-of-9 from the field. He was still a little off defensively but did pick up some nice blocks. He got more minutes basically because his shot was falling. Hopefully scoring like this from Ibaka can become the norm this season.
Kevin Martin – 30 minutes, 28 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal – A
Martin was torching the Hawks in the first half and scored 19 in the second quarter alone. He went 8-of-11 from the field and 6-of-8 from three to get his points. This was a performance very similar to what James Harden would have given the Thunder last year in a game like this. Martin made two threes in the second half but didn’t re-enter the game until late in the third. It would have been nice to see more offense run through him in the fourth.
Kendrick Perkins – 30 minutes, 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block – B
Perkins had a decent game but that usually means he’s going to get more minutes in place of Nick Collison. Not sure if that is ever a good thing. He was really pathetic shooting in the first two games so it was nice to see him make a few buckets in this one. His defense on Al Horford was solid but not game-changing.
Thabo Sefolosha – 25 minutes, 4 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists – B+
This was a very good game from Sefolosha. He got more minutes because he was playing well and did a very nice job within the offense to produce. He didn’t take any threes which was a good sign but there are still instances when Westbrook isn’t hitting that you need more scoring punch on the floor and that’s when Sefolosha doesn’t always seem like the best idea.
Nick Collison – 18 minutes, 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block – C
There wasn’t much to be said for Collison in this one. His two buckets were nice but he didn’t make much of an impact in the limited minutes he saw.
Eric Maynor – 12 minutes, 0 points, 3 assists – C
Maynor missed all four of his shots but finally dished out some assists. The Thunder are going to need some more scoring from him this season and more assists. He looks fine when he is out there though and it’s probably just a matter of time before he starts producing like it.
Hasheem Thabeet – 6 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound – D+
Thabeet did nothing in his six minutes last night and that’s kind of a problem. If he’s making no impact then he is a waste and that’s how it felt last night. The Thunder either need more from him or to go in another direction with the rotation (Perry Jones III!).
Reggie Jackson – 5 minutes, 0 points – F
Jackson was used last night because the Hawks had a lineup in the second quarter with two small guards. Jackson did absolutely nothing in his time on the court. That’s what you get for playing him at the two. Thunder fans should be praying that PJ3 and Jeremy Lamb are coming along real fast in practice.