The 2013-2014 season for the Oklahoma City Thunder was filled with lots of excitement and uncertainty. With the injuries to Westbrook, Sefolosha, and Perkins, it wasn’t your typical season for the Thunder. Although the championship goal wasn’t met, the season was successful in many ways. Durant finally came out on top in the MVP race, Reggie Jackson shined, and the Thunder found a true big man.
Here are your 2013-2014 player report cards by yours truly:
2013-2014 stats: 21.8 points, 6.9 assists, and 5.7 rebounds a game
Best performance: Game 4 vs. the Spurs- 40 points and 10 assists.
After missing majority of last year’s playoffs, a lot of the talk heading into the 2013-2014 season was about Russell Westbrook. We didn’t know when exactly he’d return, and then he totally shocked us by returning for the home opener against the Suns after the Thunder loss their second game of the season in Minnesota. The Thunder won, and Russ looked like Russ again. It was all smiles for the Thunder. OKC was playing great basketball, until news broke after Christmas Day at the Garden that Westbrook was having increased swelling in his knee and will be sidelined for another month or two. The news hurt, and KD had to take over the scoring load (which he did). Westbrook came back once again and gave it all he could. He handled adversity and found ways to come back stronger despite being sidelined spontaneously. Some may say Westbrook having to rest here and there ruined OKC’s rhythm, but overall Westbrook had a great season bearing multiple injuries. I can’t wait to see a full year of Russ and KD together fully healthy.
Russ on the injuries: “I was confident and positive and very thankful on the people working with me here and the doctors working here. I stayed positive, and being positive can take you long ways.”
2013-2014 stats: 6.3 points, 1.5 assists, and 3.6 rebounds a game
Best performance: Vs. the Bucks at home where he went for 14 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
Thabo Sefolosha had a “down” year. I say that because Sefolosha just didn’t improve a lot over last summer and wasn’t all too productive on the floor. In the playoffs, Brooks had to bench him at times because his productivity was just so low. If he can’t defend and hit open jump shots, what’s his purpose on the floor? I hate be a Thabo hater, but I just would rather see Lamb, Butler or Jackson on the floor. On his future, and free agency: “I have no clue”
2013-2014 stats: 32 points, 5.5 assists, and 7.4 assists (gasp)
Best performance: 54-point performance vs. Golden State
Oh man. What a fun year it was. Durant had the type of year that I will always remember. The MVP speech, the 54-point performance vs. Golden State, and the 25 or more points in 41 straight games breaking MJ’s record. It was an unforgettable year. Only if he brought home the chip to Oklahoma City.
2013-2014 stats: 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game
Best performance: In Houston, where he went for 27 points, nine rebounds, six blocks, and four assists. Hello.
Ibaka had easily his best season in his career. Numbers wise, and just his productivity. We saw how valuable Ibaka was when he was out in the first two games against San Antonio. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for a reason, as he averaged 2.7 blocks a game. Ibaka played a big role in OKC’s success this season, and he will be in the future.
2013-2014 stats: 3.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and .5 points per game
Best performance: Uhhhhh.
Perk just had a Perk-type of year. I really think Brooks needs to start making adjustments like he did with benching Sefolosha for Jackson with Perk. Steven Adams showed what he can do, and he is just 20 years old. I think it’s safe to say Adams is the future starting center in Oklahoma City. When he will become the start is the big question. Although, two days ago in his exit interview, Brooks said he was open to changing the starting line-up as there are “available spots”. Perhaps this pertains to Perk. Only one can hope.
2013-2014 stats: 13.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.9 rebounds a game
Best performance: In Memphis for Game 4, where he saved OKC’s season, going for 32 points and nine rebounds.
Reggie Jackson made a huge leap this year in his production. With the absence of Kevin Martin, Jackson did a great job filling his production off the bench. With Westbrook out for some time during the regular season, Jackson shinned while being the starter. When Brooks changed the starting line-up and put Jackson in the starting unit for Sefolosha, it paid its dividends. Jackson does a great job spacing the floor, and can score at will, like we saw in Game 4 vs. Memphis. I hope Presti can keep RJ in OKC.
2013-2014 stats: 5.2 points, 1.4 assists, and 1.5 rebounds a game.
Best performance: Game 1 vs the Spurs, where he exploded for 16 points on 4-6 from deep.
I am going to go to ahead and say Derek Fisher’s NBA playing career is over. But oh man, what a career it was. If it was in fact his final year, he went out strong. Fisher hit big shots constantly and creating havoc on the defensive end. We love you, Fish.
2013-2014 stats(not all with Thunder): 10.5 points, 1.5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds a game
Best performance: Game 5 vs. Memphis, where he went for 15 points on 4-8 from deep.
I loved this signing. Although Butler took some time away from Jeremy Lamb, the guy was stellar. He hit bit time shots and brought toughness and experience. I would re-sign him if I was Presti.
2013-2014 stats: 4.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and .3 blocks a game.
Best performance: Any game where he was bleeding.
I really didn’t see much improvement from Collison this year. When Ibaka was out for the first two games vs. San Antonio, Collison had to step up, and he didn’t really do that. He made it clear that the bench role was where he was comfortable. I would really like to see his 18-foot jumper become more consistent.
2013-2014 stats: 3.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and .7 blocks a game
Best performance: In Detroit, where he went for 17 points, and 10 rebounds; his first career double-double in just his fifth NBA game.
There is so much to say about Adams. I’ll just put it short and sweet: He by-passed expectations, turned heads, deserves to be a starter next year, and needs a long-term deal in Oklahoma City.
2013-2014 stats: 8.5 points, 1.5 assists, and 2.4 rebounds a game
Best performance: At home vs. Houston, where he went for 22 points, five assists, and five rebounds.
It seemed as if Lamb was finally starting to peak. Then, Presti brought in Caron Butler and it kind of went downhill from there for Lamb. His minutes became limited and he went straight to the dog house. Lamb had a lot of expectations coming into the year, and did a fairly good job. However, he still has to realize how great of a defender he COULD be.
Perry Jones III
2013-2014 stats: 3.5 points, .4 assists, and 1.8 rebounds a game
Best performance: In Miami, where he created havoc for LeBron.
It’s tough to say much about Jones III, due to his limited time. Early on in the year, Brooks found time for him which was nice. His best game was in South Beach when he did a great job defending LeBron. I think Brooks could use Jones in situations for the defensive end. He’s a freak athlete with long arms. I would like to see Jones improve on the offensive end this summer and play some type of role next year.
2013-2014 stats:1.7 points, 1.7 rebounds, and .4 blocks a game
Insert comment about Thabeet here.