5 takeaways from OKC Thunder historic 25 point comeback victory

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 25: Russell Westbrook
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 25: Russell Westbrook /
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OKC Thunder Game 3
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 21: Russell Westbrook /

Attack Rudy Gobert

It’s no coincidence the OKC Thunder’s two wins came with Rudy Gobert in foul trouble. Wins in Games 1 and 5 occurred with the likely Defensive Player of the Year having to ride the bench for large portions of the games.

Granted, as much as I can protest to go at Rudy Gobert to get him in foul trouble he’s not going to take stupid fouls. In spite of this, the Thunder need to continue to drive the paint and take their best shot at Gobert. The more he’s forced to defend, the stronger the chances are of him picking up extra fouls.

Throughout the series, I’ve vacillated between simply believing Gobert is Steven Adams’ nemesis or the Big Kiwi is sporting an injury. Regardless of which of these points are more accurate, the reality is Adams has to factor to meet this objective.

Recall the win over the Raptors who lamented over trying to stop the Westbrook – Adams pick and roll. Toronto never found a solution to stop it. Gobert obviously is more adept in this regard, but it doesn’t mean OKC should stop utilizing this tool. The pair need to remember, for as stifling as Gobert can be, there are 28 other teams out there who feel the same way about Steven Adams.

If OKC stands any chance of winning this series they have to address Gobert and that means utilizing a combination of Westbrook-Adams PNR sets and forcing the French center into working as much as possible.