OKC Thunder: 3 areas of improvement for Darius Bazley

OKC Thunder. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
OKC Thunder. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports /
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OKC Thunder
OKC Thunder. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

Due to the OKC Thunder going into full rebuild mode, the role of Darius Bazley changed from a key reserve to a starter. After gaining a huge amount of experience playing with the likes of Chris Paul and Danilo Gallinari last season, Bazley was always going to be asked to step up to be a key piece for the Thunder.

Bazley showed what he was capable of with his incredible play in the bubble. He elevated his 3-point shot and played with a confidence that had previously been unseen. There is no doubt that his future is bright and when the Thunder gets the right pieces on the court, Bazley will be a key player.

This season he averaged 13.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 31.2 minutes per game. His scoring average is almost three times that of his rookie season but with the number of quality players who are no longer on this team, these numbers needed to grow.

The OKC Thunder suffered through Darius Bazley getting injured.

Unfortunately, Bazley went down in the middle of March with a right shoulder injury. He had been flying up until that point, collect nine of his 11 double-doubles for the season prior to his injury. After missing 15 games Bazley came back and scored heavily. He would only collect two more double-doubles for the season.

Bazley was a bit of a barometer for the Thunder with the team having a 7-4 record when he collected a double-double. The point of this is it shows that when Bazley had everything working he was so hard to stop. He needs to have these games be the norm for the Thunder if they are to speed up the rebuild.

With all this in mind, let’s take a look at three areas of his game Bazley needs to improve.