OKC Thunder Film Room: Game 1 ‘Can play Kanter’ arrives, Lillard feasts, room to improve

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OKC Thunder Game 1, Round 1 NBA Playoffs

Zach Collins drives to the basket against Nerlens Noel of OKC Thunder during Game One of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs (Photo by Cameron Browne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Game one is in the books and offered plenty of hints for the OKC Thunder to tweak in order to even the series heading home. Film room breaks it down.

Throughout the 2019 NBA Playoff run for the OKC Thunder, I will revisit each game via the film room. Specifically, the emphasis will be on how the coaches, starting lineups and benches performed and use film analysis to showcase highlights, lowlights, and areas to improve.

Along the way, there will be takeaways from each matchup and gifs that focus on talking points made in the article.

Game 1 filled with storylines and a few panic button mashers:

From Enes Kanter going off down low to Paul George not looking even remotely close to his normal self game one featured copious takeaways.

Russell Westbrook provided a bright spot, and oddly the other bright spot came from the fact that the OKC Thunder literally cannot play any worse than they did tonight.

Bench Bosses:

The coaching edge goes to Terry Stotts over OKC Thunder head man Billy Donovan.

Stotts got his guys to play, and start fast. His guys had the energy from the jump in this playoff game. Some of that is being at home and feeding off the crowd, but with a ten game postseason losing streak on their backs, it would have been easier for his team to come out playing tight.

Stotts also did a great job putting pressure on and attacking Paul George in the first half, forcing him into hard drives and tough looks in the early part of the first half making him test his shoulder.

Granted, Stotts did not do much by way of strategy outside of that. His star players just played like Stars, with Billy Donovan’s second star did not.

Where the negative feeling for Donovan comes in this game, was his lack of attacking Enes Kanter. The team did that in the first quarter, and fed Adams all first quarter, to the point where superstar Russell Westbrook was almost too passive.

Then, the team went away from exposing Kanter and allowed him to stay on the floor and dominate the basketball game.

The man who coined the phrase “Can’t play Kanter.” on the sidelines of a playoff game is the same man who did not attack Kanter in a playoff game.

The OKC Thunder also lacked energy in the first quarter, and at some point that has to fall on the coach. While it is the jobs of the professional athletes to get themselves going, some of that falls on the coach.

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