Unfulfilled: OKC Thunder Game 6 player grades following heartbreaking loss

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 27: Russell Westbrook
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 27: Russell Westbrook /
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OKC Thunder
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 27: Donovan Mitchell /

OKC Thunder Best Reserve:

SF/PF. Oklahoma City Thunder. JERAMI GRANT . B.

It’s only fitting that Jerami Grant ends up in this spot after gaining this honor more than any reserve this season. Many will question if his minutes should have been increased some time ago when the dust finally settles.

Unlike many of the OKC Thunder players who shied away from shooting Grant was nonplussed by the moment and connected on two timely perimeter shots.

But, it was his defense and energy which were of the greatest value. Grant enters the summer a free agent and huge question mark. To reiterate, let’s hope Anthony opts out so there is money in the coffers to retain the forward’s services.

Best Opponent:


Let’s be clear the basketball Gods do exist. In a year when Jazz superstar Gordon Hayward left for greener Celtics pastures most pundits felt Utah would be mired in the middle ground. Not bad enough to be a lottery team and not good enough to make the postseason. Little did they know the Jazz had plucked the prize of the litter out of the 2017 draft with the 13th pick.

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The rookie has delivered in the clutch, in the playoffs and nothing, even closing out a series will stymie him. In the third quarter of this match Westbrook mirrored game 5’s 20 point effort. Yet it was Mitchell who trumped him dropping 22.

Mitchell’s box score for the close out match was a spectacular 38 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and 5 of 8 from deep. Spin moves, crossovers, dunks, step back treys, you name it Mitchell already has it in his repertoire. His self prescribed homework at college replicating Russell Westbrook moves is clear. And, to be fair not since Westbrook’s arrival to the pros have I been this impressed by a rookie. If not for the sad fact of the OKC Thunder season being over, I’d be more invested in the third quarter showdown which in hindsight will be repeatedly aired and dubbed as a showdown for the ages.

Forget using the adage ‘up and coming’, ‘rising’ etc. Donovan Mitchell has arrived and already is a superstar.

Final Thoughts

This loss was a tough pill to swallow for numerous reasons. It marks the end of the season and what will now be a precarious offseason. Questions will be asked, the roster and management assessed and graded. Heck, even Sam Presti’s position as General Manager isn’t necessarily beyond reproach.

For this scribe, I’m saddest for Russell Westbrook who inevitably will have some who point to him being the cause of the demise. Never mind it was Westbrook who failed to give up and delivered two jaw dropping back to back performances. Ironically, this season ends with the same result as last with what was deemed a star studded cast.

Hopefully, the moves made this offseason will discover the perfect resolution for next season’s campaign. After witnessing Westbrook particularly in the elimination games and getting to chat with this amazing fanbase if I have one wish it’s that those Basketball Gods decide to shine a light OKC’s way.

Next: Round 1 complete series hub article compilation

Stick with Thunderous Intentions as the team begins the process of reviewing the season and players and cast a glance forward to the offseason.