Russell Westbrook was cold-blooded tonight. The biggest talking point for the Thunder after Monday was the four game losing streak. Russ responded quickly and very forcefully with a ruthless dunk against Clint Capela to seal a win against the Rockets on Wednesday. Last night he was inducted in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and was presented by this one guy you might’ve heard of named Michael Jordan. And tonight? 30 points, 11 rebounds, 13 assists and 1 steal. Why not?
The Nets scored a season-quarter-high of 40 points in the first quarter and caught fire from three making 8 of 10. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. Brooklyn’s hot start from downtown disappeared completely after the first, they only made 1 three-pointer the rest of the game. Jeremy Lin did not return tonight for Brooklyn, but the Nets kept the game relatively competitive. Brook Lopez tallied 22 points and made 4 threes tonight.
Victor Oladipo looked great again tonight with 26 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists. The verdict for Oladipo is still uncertain, but he’s starting to look more comfortable in the flow of the offense. Six Thunder players scored in double-digits tonight and that shouldn’t be overlooked. If the Thunder offense is based on Westbrook or Oladipo playing in isolation, then this team is going to be stuck in mediocrity. If those two can consistently pick apart an opposing team’s defense and get their teammates involved like tonight then the Thunder stand a decent chance at being one of the better teams in the league. Much easier said than done.
- Joffrey Lauvergne put up a season high of 13 points tonight and is really fitting in well with this team. He hustles and isn’t afraid to shoot the ball. It’s too bad Joffrey isn’t a Small Forward.
- Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is the Nets’ version of Andre Roberson. He was tasked most of the night with guarding Russell Westbrook and didn’t do a super great job. It’s a tough match-up for anyone, so kudos to him for trying. He had a decent stat line with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, but shot fairly inefficiently with 3 of 14 from the field.
- The Nets aren’t a disaster again this season! With new head coach Kenny Atkinson and new general manager Sean Marks, the Nets are starting to make sense with their rebuild. Their pick this year is going to the Celtics and they won’t be in contention anytime soon, but Brook Lopez and Jeremy Lin are leading this team in the right direction.
- Semaj Christon had concussion like symptoms after a hard fall, and he didn’t return to the game after being pulled.
- Steven Adams played great tonight. He put up 15 points and 6 rebounds. He also made Trevor Booker mad, late in the fourth. Booker shoved Adams and both guys picked up a technical.
- OKC grabbed 16 more rebounds than the Nets, scored 12 more fast break points and 20 more points in the paint. Overall, OKC had 62 points in the paint. Niceeeee.
- Brook Lopez is shooting threes now. Prior to this season, Lopez had only made three 3 pointers in his career. He’s made 20 threes this season already.
- Anthony Bennett looked like an NBA player tonight with 12 points and 3 rebounds. That’s, for sure, notable.
- Thunder legend Randy Foye had 2 points tonight, and the battle for MVP between he and Westbrook continues.
- Yogi Ferrell has one of the coolest names in the NBA. The Nets undrafted rookie has has been playing decently so far this season, but him guarding Russell Westbrook was one the biggest mismatches I’ve seen this season.
- Roberson had two super athletic dunks tonight. One was all over Brook Lopez. Barbecue chicken alert.
- 77-5 is still possible!