The case for OKC Thunder to start Patrick Patterson at power forward

OKC Thunder, Patrick Patterson (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, Patrick Patterson (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder, Patrick Patterson (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

By trading Carmelo Anthony the OKC Thunder created a vacancy in the starting rotation at power forward which Patrick Patterson is perfectly suited to fill.

There are two players looking to replace Melo in the starting OKC Thunder lineup – Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson. In this article, we take a look at why 2Pat should be the Thunder’s new starting power forward.

Before OKC decided to take a chance on Carmelo Anthony, Patterson was the presumed starter at the four. Considering how much of a disappointment Melo turned out to be, it makes one wonder what could have been had Patterson started.

Coming into the season, Patterson was still recovering from an offseason knee procedure and, as a result, averaged a mere 15.5  minutes per game (MPG) last season. 2Pat only managed game averages of 3.9 points (PPG), 2.4 rebounds (RPG), 0.7 assists (APG), 0.6 steals (SPG), and 0.3 blocks (BPG). Outside of his SPG average, all of those numbers happen to be career-lows for the veteran power forward.

All in all, it was a rather underwhelming year for Patterson.

Nonetheless, Sam Presti believes the OKC Thunder can make better use of 2Pat in the upcoming season. As per Nick Gallo on the OKC Thunder website.

"“There’s a lot of room and growth for Patterson. He’s a guy that we certainly can get more from. That’s something we have to look to going forward.”"

In my opinion, Presti’s comments are spot on. Patterson is an above average three-point shooter and a rather versatile defender. His 2017-18 averages were much worse than his averages during his time in Toronto due to several factors.

And while Patrick Patterson may not be the cure for all of the Thunder’s problems, an increased role for him will prove to be beneficial.

Legend: points per game (PPG), rebounds per game (RPG), assists per game (APG), steals per game (SPG), blocks per game (BPG), minutes per game (MPG).