Shorthanded and tired OKC Thunder ousted by Bucks – grades

OKC Thunder, NBA Power Rankings Week 14: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts after a dunk during the NBA Paris Game (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, NBA Power Rankings Week 14: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts after a dunk during the NBA Paris Game (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder is congratulated by Chris Paul #3 following an NBA game . (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

B+. . PG. Oklahoma City Thunder. CHRIS PAUL

Despite the blow out nature of this match, Chris Paul remained his ever steady self. No doubt he was offering tips and advice on the hardwood and the bench.

This isn’t his first rodeo so he knows these types of games will happen. As such he kept the compete level high trying to help stop the bleeding and change momentum.

He collected 18 points dished five assists, grabbed three rebounds and snagged a steal.

On this night, there was nothing anyone could do on the Thunder to shift the momentum and his sage advice following the game will be what helps the youngsters recognize it’s one of 82 and time to move on to the next game.

G/F. Oklahoma City Thunder. SHAI GILGEOUS-ALEXANDER. B-.

Overall a decent effort from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He offered up 11 points, three rebounds, and two assists

If anything you have to give him credit for not forcing his game to try to do or be more than he is.

The lesson for SGA ultimately is the dividends a loss like this will pay him as he moves forward in his career. It highlights how far he’ll need to grow to become “that type” of star, who can affect momentum. He’s a work in progress and while his defense wasn’t as stellar as he generally offers you would rather have him play within himself than force the issue.

The great news is there will come a day (in the near future) where he can change a game of this nature.

C+. . PG. Oklahoma City Thunder. LU DORT

For as poorly as the team played as a unit it was great to see the youngster out there still being scrappy. No – – things didn’t go remotely well for the team and he registered a minus 38 but the lessons Dort specifically learned in this match will pay dividends down the road.

Dort remained aggressive on both sides of the court registering six points and three rebounds. The fact he’s putting up similar numbers in a loss as he would in a win is also a positive for Billy Donovan to pull from.

That 3-point shot remains a harbinger – but the Canadian will continue to work on it and given his work ethic I wouldn’t bet against him getting it.

D. . F. Oklahoma City Thunder. HAMIDOU DIALLO

Unlike Dort, I can’t give Hamidou Diallo the same concessions. This was an opportunity for Diallo to inject energy into the lineup and bring aggressiveness to the court. It was his chance to do precisely what Dort did when he was given an opportunity.

Yet his stats tell a story — Hami scored four points and grabbed three rebounds. In comparison to the undrafted rookie, the big difference isn’t the two points it’s the two turnovers.

Sure, it was a blowout against an elite team but this was a blown opportunity by Diallo to show why he deserves more playing time. Instead, it cemented why Lu Dort should be getting the consistent playing time he is.

B+. . C. Oklahoma City Thunder. STEVEN ADAMS

Let’s face it the Bucks have a monster frontcourt. When Brook Lopez isn’t on the floor his brother Robin is. Then there is that Greek Freak to try to stop from gaining entry. It’s a nightmare job and without Gallinari, it meant the Bucks could collapse even more than they typically do.

The resulting effect was Steven Adams was pretty much on an island in this game.

That he managed to handle the bigs at all is commendable. The big Kiwi collected eight points on 4 of 5 from the field, grabbed seven rebounds, dished three assists and snagged a steal. And, he did that in 17 minutes on the court. His plus/minus was the best of the starters (minus 5) by far.

Donovan smartly didn’t overuse his big man in a blowout. Better to rest him in this situation especially since he’s been playing great since the break.