How the OKC Thunder beat Celtics if perimeter shot isn’t falling

OKC Thunder's Dennis Schroder #17 drives through the paint against Jayson Tatum #0. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder's Dennis Schroder #17 drives through the paint against Jayson Tatum #0. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder’s Dennis Schroder #17 looks to pass the ball against Gordon Hayward #20. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images) /

OKC Thunder 3-point shooting:

The Thunder aren’t known for their shooting and are not a team who lives and dies by the 3-point shot.

But this is constituted by their unshakable defense, ball movement and their variety of playmaking ability. Sometimes though, it is the Thunder 3-point shooting that can be the difference in win efforts.

Danilo Gallinari is arguably the Thunder’s best shooter from beyond the ark. He is 13th in the NBA for 3-pointers made per game with 3.0 and is 19th for attempts with 7.4.

This will be key to winning against Boston as in their match against the Hawks, they finished with 43.2 perimeter percentage. This was slightly more than their overall field goal percentage.

It isn’t about changing OKC’s identity because what they’ve done has gotten them where they are. More so it’s improving in this area which could help them later down the line.

Celtics speed to burn:

The Boston Celtics are speedy on transition scoring 15.1 fast break points a game. This will be something OKC will look to limit as they are a team that prefers to set the pace.

The good thing is that the Thunder’s transition defense is superb. Preventing turnovers will be key here and if OKC can force Boston to slow down and play their game, they’ll be able to come out on top.

Thunder bench depth:

There’s no hiding that OKC has a deep roster. Dennis Schroder is capable of leading his own team and in my opinion, is the front runner for the Sixth Man of the Year.

Then you’ve got confident youngsters such as Darius Bazley and Hamidou Diallo and big man Nerlens Noel who makes a big impact when on the floor.

Terrance Ferguson has also recently been playing from the bench which gives the Thunder an edge as they could make a starting lineup with their bench players.

OKC is 10th in the league for bench points, with their reserves scoring 39.6 points per game. This is ahead of teams such as the Lakers, Jazz, and Rockets, giving OKC an advantage going up against the Celtics.