OKC Thunder erase 19 point deficit to claim 5th in a row: players grades

Dennis Schroder #17 of the OKC Thunder talks with teammate Nerlens Noel #9. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Dennis Schroder #17 of the OKC Thunder talks with teammate Nerlens Noel #9. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
OKC Thunder
Dennis Schroder #17 of the OKC Thunder dribbles the ball down court during a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Best OKC Thunder Reserve:

B+. . PG. Oklahoma City Thunder. DENNIS SCHRODER

During the comeback effort Dennis Schroder was at his very best defensively. He dogged the inbound recipient and was scrappy on all his covers. It’s Schroder at his very best when he marries the two-way play. There are others who are reliable at full court press but Schroder gets the nod as one of the very best at it.

On a night where his shot wasn’t falling (4 of 12) and fellow reserve Nerlens Noel could get the easy tap it’s impossible to not reward all the things DS did to affect winning.

As mentioned the shot was off which led to 13 points, but he amassed five rebounds and seven assists and was top notch defensively.

Best Opponent:

. F/C. Sacramento. HARRY GILLES. A

In truth, this award could’ve gone to Harrison Barnes (21 points, three rebounds, five assists) or another favorite of yours truly Nemanja Bjelica (18 points, nine rebounds, two assists).

More from Thunderous Intentions

However, it’s Harry Gilles who gets the tap. He was the one Kings player the Thunder had real issues trying to stop and because he was able to score inside it opened the floor for the snipers and cutters on the Kings.

Besides, this kid has been through so much it’s wonderful to see him finally playing healthy and getting consistent time on the court. If Marvin Bagley III could ever find his own consistency with health this pair could pose a true problem given their speed, length, skillset and the potential to become a solid frontcourt defensive team (Bagley will need to take some steps specifically on defense for this to transpire).

Still, watching this Kings crew reminds of just how perilously close any club can be to factoring among their peers as this crew did last season and then how quickly they can fade from the picture. Notably, they’ve cut into the lead the Grizzlies hold for that eighth seed. However, that also partially because the Grizzlies are in injury free fall.

Speaking of the Grizzlies the Kings will face them on the second night of their back-to-back set.

The OKC Thunder are also playing a back-to-back set with much stiffer competition as they travel to Milwaukee to take on the league leading and rested Bucks. For the full stats on all the players and game details click this ESPN link.

Thunder Report Card as team enters stretch. dark. Next

Check back later this morning for three takeaways and the preview to tonight’s match ve Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Milwaukee Bucks.