Post trade deadline, the OKC Thunder got right back to business with their ninth win in 10 games while facing a shorthanded Pistons squad. Grades break it down.
The trade deadline came and went without effect for the OKC Thunder as Danilo Gallinari remained a member of the team. Meanwhile, the visitors got a shakeup as their double-double master Andre Drummond was sent to the Cavaliers in one of the more perplexing trades of the day.
Detroit was also without Derrick Rose who is battling an adductor injury and that meant Pistons head coach Dwane Casey only had nine players dressed for the match in OKC.
The problem as Thunder fans know all too well after a loss to a severely undermanned Lakers squad earlier this season is the tendency to play down to your competition.
It’s not like teams go out with the conscious decision to play with less effort of focus, it’s a subconscious factor and one that winning teams learn how to avoid. That and having a player of Chris Paul‘s ilk who simply refuses to lose games of this nature.
Several times when the Pistons appeared to be making a run it was CP3 who immediately scored or dished an assist to get the Thunder back on track.
The opening frame went the way of the Thunder who produced a 29-24 frame. The second was an even result with both clubs scoring 23 points.
OKC came out in the third and avoided their habit of not coming out of the locker room with focus to take the frame 26-21 and build a 10 point lead heading into their favorite frame the fourth quarter.
Although the Pistons made a few runs it wasn’t enough and the Thunder netted their 32nd victory of the season to remain in sixth place. By virtue of the Mavericks losing to the Wizards they also get a little padding with a one game lead over Dallas now.
With that, let’s check out the individual player grades.