Fox replay of OKC Thunder – 76ers match on November 15th offers three lessons to utilize in Orlando.
OKC Thunder players are getting in daily workouts as they build toward July 8th when the team will travel to Orlando.
Throughout the hiatus, Fox Sports Oklahoma has kept Thunder fans entertained via replay events featuring the best wins from the season.
In preparation for the Disney bubble, we’re looking at these wins to decipher advantages or lessons the Thunder can learn from these victories.
Three lessons from OKC Thunder defeat of 76ers:
With Fox Sports replaying Thunder victories it offers an opportunity to dive into each game and gather intel for the games in Orlando.
That may be pinpointing advantages and strengths or it could be an insight into an area of weakness the team needs to focus on improving. With that in mind here are three lessons the Thunder can pull from the overtime win in November versus the 76ers.
Not all teams focus on small ball:
The Western Conference has several skilled big men such as Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Rudy Gobert, and Kristaps Porzingis to name a few. So for teams like the Rockets who are all in on small ball how adaptable will they be when they have to face a skilled big?
To that end, this match versus the 76ers offered an example of why Steven Adams and Nerlens Noel are such important pieces in the equation.
As witnessed during the closing quarter of the All-Star game the one player on the court no one could stop from scoring was Joel Embiid.
But, in this November contest while Embiid delivered a double-double of 31 points and 12 rebounds he also was a negative 10 in plus/minus.
Alternatively, Adams was held to seven points and seven rebounds but did so much more. Four of his rebounds came on the offensive glass, he dished four dimes, grabbed a steal and had two blocks. More importantly, while he didn’t stop Embiid he did limit the big man and finished with a plus eight.
Consistency at home and away:
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This match showcased a problem the 76ers dealt with all season — winning on the road. While Philly holds a league-best 29-2 home record they struggled mightily on the road (10-24).
OKC, also began the season struggling on the road (4-9) but after December 14th the Thunder went 16-2 on the road.
All games in the restart will occur on neutral territory. Considering the Thunder also performs well in the clutch the combination of having confidence from winning on the road should bode well for them.
Going the extra mile:
This victory gave a glimpse of the clutch time killers who would emerge more frequently as the season progressed. Yet, the other key in this win was tied to how the players stepped up to do what was necessary and knowing when to seize the moment.
Although Shai Gilgeous-Alexander struggled early to score what couldn’t be lost was he didn’t allow that to affect his defense. In the late stages of the game, it was SGA who drew the sixth fouls on both Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris while also scoring 10 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Likewise, Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari also stepped up late. CP3 scored 16 of his 27 points and Gallo 12 of his 28 points in the final frame and overtime.