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Monday Rewind: December 10-16

Monday Rewind: December 10-16

Paul George leads the Charge, Thunder Top Jazz 122-113

  • There’s been a lot of discussion within the DailyThunder comment section of the play/importance/value of Dennis Schroder. It’s games like this one where I can’t see it any other way: The Schrodie is a big part of the Thunder’s success. He had 23 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds in the win over Utah.
  • Schroder is playing a little more than 29 minutes a game and averaging 16.5 ppg for the Thunder. Dennis is giving the Thunder something it hasn’t had since James Harden in 2012: a reliable sixth man. We’ve actually seen contribution from the bench this season, as well. I can’t help but think having a *really good* back-up point guard has something to do with that.
  • Also, are we going to completely ignore the fact that Russ is not having a great season (by his standards)? This makes Schroder all the more valuable. When Russ is in his own head, he no longer has to shoulder the weight of playmaking every trip down the floor.
  • I think one issue with Schroder is his 15.5 mil contract. (Worth it IMO) And a lot of people love to play around on the trade machine (as you can see below). Could the Thunder pull off that trade? Probably not. And even if they did, is the team better? The starting five most definitely is, but you’d have to sit through a lot more Raymond Felton with the second unit.
  • Anyway, enough of Dennis Schroder. The Thunder beat the Jazz and that’s awesome. I’m not a big Jazz fan. They have a lot of players with faces I don’t like. Gobert? Ingles? Mitchell? Ugh.
  • Russell Westbrook can struggle AND have a positive impact on the game. That ended up being the theme throughout the week as Russ struggled to shoot the ball, but did many other things very well.
  • Westbrook ended the game vs. the Jazz with a 12 point (4-18), 11 rebound, 10 assist triple-double.
  • And this pass to Big Kiwi:
  • OKC would end the night sitting at first place in the Western Conference standings. That was pretty neat.

Thunder Rally Too Late, Pelicans Win 118-114

  • The Pelicans remind me of last year’s Jazz team in that I don’t want to see them in the playoffs.
  • Healthy Anthony Davis is so good. So unstoppable. Yeah, I don’t want any piece of that come playoff time.
  • So this is becoming “a thing”. Russell Westbrook is struggling shooting the ball, and he seems clearly frustrated by it. Add that to the difficulty in officiating him.
  • Watching “mad Russ” gives me anxiety. At any given moment, it could turn into an amazing hammer dunk or it could turn into an intentional foul/technical.
  • Yeah, the Thunder lost the game, but we also got to see a glimpse of the Kiwi Step. #Blessed

Nuggets Too Much, Top Thunder 109-98

  • Sometimes you have big wins. Sometimes you have a big losses. This was a big loss. The Nuggets take a 2-0 season series lead, so this could have some playoff seeding implications.
  • You know what hurt? Some goose eggs in the box score. Ferguson: 0 points in 23 minutes. Abrines: 0 points in 18 minutes. Noel: 0 points in 10 minutes.
  • Steven Adams: 26 points & 14 rebounds. Those are grown man numbers.
  • You KNOW that guy was scared out of his mind the rest of the night, right?
  • My favorite play of the week wasn’t even technically a good basketball play. In fact we had a handful of people tell us Steven Adams was foolish for the following:
  • Plumlee can get a bit reckless at times, and no one would have thought a second about Adams going up for the bucket here. Instead, Big Kiwi stops play to prevent would could have been a nasty fall. Adams may be sneaky and frustrating, but he’s not dirty.
  • We ended this game with a minor scuffle between Westbrook and anyone in a Nuggets jersey that looked his way.
  • Westbrook seems to be calming down, but the sheer sight of Nikola Jokic fires him back up. You could clearly hear “I’ll **** you up” while Russ was pointing to Jokic several times.

Thunder Hang On, Defeat Clippers 110-104

  • There’s a joke here but I don’t know what it is.
  • Patrick Beverley was called for a technical and Judy Love, sitting courtside, had a fantastic reaction:
  • Another game where Russell Westbrook was visibly frustrated about his shooting. Russ got his first bucket to drop with 2:06 left in the second quarter. He followed that up by giving the Thunder bench a “finally” look.
  • I don’t tend to worry about Russ, and I’m not starting just yet. The shooting struggles are obvious, but so is the effort to make up for it.
  • Westbrook finished with 13 points (4-of-17 FG, 3-of-4 3PT), 9 rebounds, 12 assists, and six steals. That’s pretty good.
  • When Jerami Grant moves on from this team, PLEASE put that #9 jersey on the next up-and-comer. It for sure has powers that make you progress as a player, right?
  • Jerami finished second in scoring for the Thunder with 18 points on 8-11 shooting.

Everything Else

  • As it stands now, the Thunder are in third place in the Western Conference:
  • The Thunder confirmed the return of the Sunset jerseys. They’ll make their debut December 30th in Dallas. The Thunder were rumored to be wearing them on Christmas Day, but they’d clash with the Rockets’ red uniforms.
  • Nike, once again, isn’t doing special Christmas Day uniforms. This is a bummer. I feel like they’ve taken away a small, special part of my Christmas.
  • This Week: