OKC Thunder blast Wolves via spectacular individual efforts – grades

JANUARY 13: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder shoots the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)
JANUARY 13: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the OKC Thunder shoots the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
January 13: OKC Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) shot while Minnesota Timberwolves center Naz Reid (11) defended in the first half. (Photo by Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images) /

Best Reserve:

. PG. Oklahoma City Thunder. DENNIS SCHRODER. B

Much like CP3, Dennis Schroder had an off shooting night. The point guard was 5 of 14 from the field and 2 of 6 from deep. Unlike the game against the Lakers, however, despite the 14 shots they came mostly in rhythm and didn’t feel as forced.

He also was active on defense and grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist although I’d love to see the hockey assist stats for this evening as he likely would have several in that area as the ball was zipping tonight.

Best Opponent:

Minnesota Timberwolves. NAZ REID. B+. . PF/C

Robert Covington deserves some recognition in this spot for his complete game effort but if it weren’t for Naz Reid the Wolves fans could’ve put the kids to bed early.

He went on a 15 point scoring run all by himself hitting primarily from distance. He was active and aggressive defensively and although he’s not getting much burn yet he is yet another example of why a good scouting department is necessary as he was an undrafted prospect who worked hard to get to where he is.

Although Reid registered career highs in this match it wasn’t an outlier — in recent games, his aggressive defense and crashing the glass has helped the Wolves and if they can’t find a position for him in their regular rotation when KAT returns he’ll get ample interest from a number of teams.

Where he needs work is his post play as witnessed when he tried to do too much with the ball against Adams who shut him down. That can be developed more in the offseason – but keep an eye on this youngster who has solid upside as a backup power forward/center.

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Game notes:

  • As per above the Wolves clearly have most of their talent contained in the front court. Beyond star Karl-Anthony Towns the Wolves have Naz Reid, Josh Okogie, and Robert Covington who can all play serviceable minutes. Andrew Wiggins is a talent but there aren’t as many guards the Wolves can call upon. Jeff Teague and Shabazz Napier are both reserves at best and if there is a glaring gap in the Minnesota roster a starting point guard is the flashing neon light. Imagine Chris Paul on this squad— well don’t, because we don’t want to lose him especially to a division rival.
  • OKC absolutely killed the Wolves on the glass 51-37 (although much of that was due to SGA’s big rebounding night).
  • After some heartbreaking losses to the Wolves over the past few seasons this win plus the Steven Adams NFL pass which resulted in the OT win suggests the momentum has shifted in favor of the Thunder.
  • The last time OKC played Minny, TI noted SGA is gonna be a STAR — after tonight I think we can definitively state SGA IS A STAR!

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The OKC Thunder are back in action Wednesday as they play host to the Toronto Raptors who’ll be looking for revenge after the one point loss on their home court in clutch time. For a full box score of tonight’s contest, head over to this link courtesy of ESPN.