So this certainly wasn’t the start to February that the Thunder wanted. I’m not sure if the defense or offense was the bigger issue tonight. Either way, the Thunder have to find a way to win without Enes Kanter.
Chicago scored 34 points in the second quarter, 39 points in the third quarter and 34 in the fourth quarter. Six Chicago players scored in double digits, that’s a problem. Obviously, the Thunder are going to struggle to score without Kanter, but they’ll need to improve on the defensive end if they’re going to continue to play so poorly on offense.
The Thunder regress to 28-22 on the season after a disappointing performance at home against a mediocre Chicago team. Westbrook had 28 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block and 2 steals. This might sound strange, but Russ seemed even more aggressive tonight than usual. He had an insane chasedown block on Jimmy Butler in the third quarter. He was attacking the paint and threw down a nice dunk midway through the third.
Jimmy Butler had 28 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. This Chicago team has talented players, but it’s been a PR mess lately. Winning games can fix those off the court issues and it starts with Jimmy Butler. Dwyane Wade had 18 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and was a +32 tonight.
The Thunder shot 38% from the field against Chicago’s 60%. Jerami Grant scored 15 points and was the only standout offensive player aside from Russ. The Thunder won’t shoot that poorly every night, but I’m not sure they’ll get a lot better unless Kanter’s arm heals overnight.
- Josh Huestis made his season debut tonight. He had 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in 7 minutes of garbage time. Get this man some playing time. There’s absolutely no reason he shouldn’t be seeing minutes.
- I think the defense will get better as the Thunder tweak different lineups. Nick Collison probably needs to be seeing more minutes. He provides the stability that the Thunder are clearly lacking.
- The trade deadline is only three weeks away. Should the Thunder trade Enes Kanter? Remember that being a talking point a few weeks ago? The last three games should give you your answer. I love playing on the trade machine, but Kanter’s offense is vital for this team and I highly doubt he’s going to be traded while he’s injured.
- Robin Lopez looked like Steven Adams tonight with his 14 points. His mid-range jumper gives me hope that Adams will eventually shoot the occasional shot outside of the paint.
- Paul Zipster was a -4 tonight. He was the only Bulls player with a minus in the plus-minus category for Chicago. He seems like a created player in 2k, I’m not 100% certain that he’s a real person.
- Westbrook went 10-of-23 from the field, that’s not incredibly efficient, but you can live with that. Oladipo, Sabonis, Payne and Morrow were the only other Thunder players to attempt over 10 field goals. They went for a combined 12-of-45 from the field. Yikes.