OKC Thunder blows the wheel off streaking Pistons, Topic: Thunder analysis

Dennis Schroder, OKC Thunder (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dennis Schroder, OKC Thunder (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder utilizes balanced scoring, and tenacious defense to oust the Pistons in Detroit. Topic: Thunder breaks down the win.

OKC Thunder have had many struggles since Kevin Durant decides to tuck tail and run to the team that beat him in the playoffs.

When Russell Westbrook would go to the bench, the team would falter. When they would go into the half down double digits, that deficit would consistently balloon in the third quarter.

Times are changing though.

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The second unit, led by Dennis Schröder (12 points, 9 rebounds, 6 assists) had 37 points. More importantly, their solid play to end the fourth quarter meant an extended rest for players like Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Jerami Grant and Steven Adams.

Not only that, but ironically enough the Thunder scored 37 points in the 3rd quarter to extend a 10 point halftime lead to 18 points and ultimately put the game away.

This has been a trend that has occurred all season long, as the OKC Thunder came into tonight’s game leading the NBA in third quarter point differential at +79 (!!) points.

They have taken something that had continuously been a real weakness, if not an obstacle to their ceiling and have turned it into one of their many strengths about one quarter of the way into the NBA season.

Now winners of three straight, and .5 a game back from being the top team in the West; this Thunder team is really clicking. They did so with a balanced attack on the offensive end as 6 different players scored in double figures, and tenacious effort on the defensive end including 10 steals and 8 blocks.

Click the link below to hear a quarter by quarter breakdown to the game, including why Dennis Schröder is so important to this team, and the ceiling of this team.

TiVo: 2:15

Player of the Game: 17:30

Most Impressive Unit: 20:09

Closing Remarks: 21:10

Be sure to follow us on twitter @OKCTopicThunder for all of our latest podcasts. Any and all feedback is appreciated, and we hope you that enjoy listening as much as we enjoy creating for you! Thunder Up! Also, check out the post game player grades and check back in the morning for three takeaways.