Grading the OKC Thunder’s best bench performer:
Jaylin Williams, F, OKC Thunder: A
It is rare that a player can be the best bench performer without scoring a single point, but nullifying a two-time MVP can do that.
Williams made some crucial plays, including a transition stop on Jokic that was initially called a blocking foul before Mark Daigneault won the challenge.
Williams ended the night with eight rebounds and four assists, and while he is not the elite rebounder some say Oklahoma City needs, games like this show that he may be enough.
Grading the best Nugget:
Nikola Jokic, C, Denver Nuggets: B+
Friday was a pretty routine affair for Jokic as he shot 90% from the floor and nearly had a triple-double in Ball Arena in a game that ended with a 26-point margin of victory. What isn’t normal is that coming in a Nuggets loss.
Jokic caused some problems for the Thunder, as he does for every team. He scored 19 points, shooting 9-of-10 from the field, but could not get to the free-throw line.
Alongside that, he grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. However, with Oklahoma City’s center rotation grabbing 16 combined, it did not seem to matter.
As the best playmaking big man of all time, Jokic dished out seven assists. But against the Thunder’s pesky defense, he committed seven turnovers.
Jokic played well enough to help the Nuggets, but the Thunder nullified everything he did in a true testament to the team they have become since the teams first met in October.