The Oklahoma City Thunder dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been sort of ball-hogs lately.
The Thunder lost their last two games first at home to the Denver Nuggets 114-104 then in overtime on the to the Memphis Grizzlies the next night 90-89.
In those two games, Durant and Westbrook combined to shoot 97 times with just 17 total assists between the two.
That’s a lot different from what we’ve come to expect from these two this season. Durant is averaging a career-high 4.5 assists per game this season and Westbrook is up to 7.5 assists per game this season from 5.5 the season before.
Recent turnover problems could be a cause for the dip in assists from the two. The Thunder have played against tougher opponents recently and the usually hyper-efficient Thunder offense has not been itself.
Durant had a zero assist game last week vs. the Utah Jazz in which he also turned the ball over eight times.
Coming up for the Thunder is a cupcake schedule for their next five games. They play at Orlando tonight then against Portland, Washington, Minnesota and Milwaukee.
Against teams like those, Durant has often played the role of distributor rather than 30-point scorer. He’ll probably do the same coming up and we should start seeing the more all-around stat lines from KD and the Thunder role players stepping up more.
Even though it will be against lesser competition, it is still good timing for a stretch like this to get some confidence into players like Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin. If they can get into good shooting rhythms with the playoffs right around the corner, that will be huge for the Thunder.
The Thunder will need everyone and not just KD and Russ when the playoffs role around. We’ve already found out recently that even with those two scoring efficiently, this team can lose against top-level talent if no one else steps up.
Beyond Ibaka and Martin getting going these next few weeks, the next best thing that can help the Thunder get ready for the playoffs would be a turned ankle by Derek Fisher.