OKC Thunder Breakdown: 3 key areas Terrance Ferguson can improve upon next season

Terrance Ferguson #23 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Terrance Ferguson #23 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Terrance Ferguson #23 of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Defending without fouling:

Last season with the OKC Thunder, Terrance Ferguson had five or more fouls in 15 out of the 74 games he’s appeared in.

His foul percentage of 4.8 ranked in the 10th percentile among shooting guards last season.

Ferguson’s fouls were key last season as multiple times he would commit completely unnecessary fouls, which led to him getting benched for Dennis Schroder. When Ferguson was at shooting guard compared to Schroder, the team defense fared much better.

(Per Cleaning the Glass)


  • Point differential: plus 8.9
  • Points per 100 possessions (defense): 104.2
  • Effective field goal percentage (defense): 53.0 percent


  • Point differential:  plus 8.2
  • Points per 100 possessions (defense): 110.9
  • Effective field goal percentage (defense): 55.1

This shows how much Ferguson’s fouling hurt the Thunders team defense last season, while not an elite defender, Ferguson provided much-needed stability defensively at the two-guard position.

An example of one of Ferguson’s unnecessary fouls came in the closing seconds of the Spurs vs Thunder, a 154-147 point shootout.

This came in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter on a Spurs inbound, Ferguson was unnecessarily holding onto Marco Belinelli as he was trying to create space. This off the ball foul led to a free throw and possession for the Spurs, which potentially cost the Thunder the game in regulation.

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Was this a soft foul? I suppose, but you have to be smarter than that in crunch time.

Fouling tends to be a common problem among young and inexperienced players, so I fully expect Ferguson to reduce his fouling issues as he gains a better understanding of the game and puts on more muscle/weight.

The best ability is availability, and with Ferguson constantly in foul trouble over the past two seasons, it’s hard to depend on him night in and night out.