OKC Thunder 30 for 30 round table: Donovan’s focus during suspension

OKC Thunder, Chris Paul (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
OKC Thunder, Chris Paul (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Day two of the 30 for 30 questions on the OKC Thunder finds the Thunderous Intentions writing team pondering how Billy Donovan should spend the extended time off.

With the NBA on hiatus due to suspension the OKC Thunder players, coaches and staff will be isolated in self quarantine.

Players are sharing videos and on social media noting they are reviewing game film and some like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander proved his dance moves are as fluid and silky as his on court grace and skill.

But, when it comes to the coaches, other than spending time with family how will the OKC Thunder bench boss spend the hiatus.

With that here is question two of the 30 for 30 series. Remember to add your thoughts to the comments section…

Q2: What should Billy Donovan focus on during the hiatus?

Shontelle Matano:

Billy Donovan should focus on making sure his players are healthy and safe first and foremost during the NBA hiatus. And when the time is right preparing the OKC Thunder for a deep playoff run. I think he should also consider Lu Dort’s contract and how to make sure he gets an opportunity in the playoffs. Time is on the Thunder’s side and for Donovan, it really is just about taking full advantage of the extra defensive and offensive weapons on the squad.

With the team being away from each other for a long period of time, Donovan should focus on making sure everyone is still on the same page which by the way they have been playing this year, should be easy. They’re a tight roster who play for each other and a big reason for this is because of Donovan’s amazing leadership. He deserves to be commended and to use this time to reflect on the great achievements of his team so far.

Dustin McGowen:

Billy Donovan should definitely focus on his hair during the hiatus. He has looked more like a dad (I am one, so I’m familiar) than his usual slicked back coiffured self. Coach needs some time in the barber’s chair while he’s not on the bench.

Matthew Hallett:

Donovan needs to focus on how he is going to tighten his rotations for the playoffs. He needs to figure out the use of Terrance Ferguson, Abdel Nader, Hamidou Diallo, and Deonte Burton as the Thunder advance.  While his staring unit appears to be a lock, how he spells them in the playoffs will determine how deep they go.

Rylan Stiles:

It is hard to really answer this question with so much of the future unknown, but the most pressing thing for every coach to figure out is how to manage their teams when we do resume play. The OKC Thunder were playing well, and now Donovan has to figure out how to keep this momentum going after a month-plus-long layoff.

Tamberlyn Richardson:

The break offers an opportunity for extended film work to dive into areas of the game where the OKC Thunder struggle.

Such as forcing turnovers – for a team as athletic and solid defensively they rank 22nd at forcing turnovers. Yet they rank 15th for points scored off those turnovers. If they dialed up the defensive intensity particularly in the first and third quarters they could kill two birds with one stone.

Assists are another area of the game where the Thunder struggle. As per John Schuhmann, they rank 28th in assist percentage…

"They rank 28th in assist percentage (having assisted on just 54.5% of their field goals."

This could be as simple as ball movement or finding the open shots since the Thunder does tend to score on drives and in the paint via unassisted shots. Still, it’s an area worth diving into.

Ultimately, Donovan can line up all the areas the Thunder performs below average with the goal of finding minor tweaks to improve. And, if he’s feeling really rambunctious some time spent in advance looking at each of the teams OKC could face in the first round to get a jump start on that scenario also would be time well spent.

dark. Next. 30 x 30 round table: Who benefits from suspension most?

Question three comes Wednesday as the team offers up suggestions for reading material. Make sure to add your thoughts in our comments section. Wishing everyone a safe and healthy day.