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
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 25:Rudy Gobert /

Keep the quick hook on Melo:

For perhaps the first time this entire season Billy Donovan finally decided to channel Spike Lee and ‘Do the Right Thing’. I’m speaking of course of the coach’s decision to bench Melo. During the team’s run to get back in the game Carmelo was nailed to the bench.

Social media exploded at 7:58 of the fourth quarter when Donovan put Anthony back in the game. That fact speaks to how little faith the fan base has in Melo at this point. It’s not to say Carmelo can’t affect a game or a series. Yet, the reality is (and what I’ve been screaming for most of this season) is for OKC to utilize a better defender. Facing a team like Utah there isn’t an advantage to having Melo on the court UNLESS he’s shooting lights out.

Egos have to take back seat:

Using Patrick Patterson or Jerami Grant is the far better option versus a team of Utah’s defensive ilk. Patterson because he spaces the floor while providing defense and Grant for his active defense. Donovan went with Grant in Game 5 and the results were palpable. Specifically, what Grant allowed in terms of helping Adams and how the Jazz had to defend. I’m not trying to dump on Anthony. Rather, it’s a matter of recognizing your matchup strengths and weaknesses. To wit, with Melo on the floor, the Jazz runs the majority of their offense either directly at Anthony or use him to create openings.

Moving forward, Donovan has to take the same stance in Game 6. If the OKC Thunder can battle back to win this series they’ll be facing the Rockets and in that situation, there are matchups where Anthony will hold an advantage.  But, facing arguably the best defense in the NBA, feelings and ego’s have to take a back seat to winning.