ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

2014-2015 NBA Season Analysis- Oklahoma City Thunder

Updated on February 25, 2015


The Oklahoma City Thunder will again be fighting for the top spots in the Western Conference, but I believe they need more production off the bench to get to the next level and try to reach the Finals once again. Hopefully, the acquisition of Anthony Morrow and the possible explosion of guys like Reggie Jackson or Perry Jones will help them in that regard.


Roster


Coach: Scott Brooks


PG: Russell Westbrook; Reggie Jackson; Ish Smith

SG: Jeremy Lamb; Anthony Morrow

SF: Kevin Durant; André Roberson; Lance Thomas

PF: Serge Ibaka; Nick Collison; Perry Jones III; Grant Jerrett (Rookie); Mitch McGray (Rookie)

C: Steven Adams; Kendrick Perkins


Analysis


Let’s talk about the offensive end of the court:

First of all, I’d like to see more ball movement, as opposed to the ball sticking in Westbrook and Durant’s hands for so long. I understand that as a team you’re tempted to put the ball in their hands and let them play 1-on-1 every single time, but I believe you need more than that to become a real championship contender.

Scott Brooks is gonna have to trust guys like Jeremy Lamb more (he barely played in the last Playoffs after a decent Regular Season). The Thunder need to get deeper and they need guys that can stretch the floor to give more space to the dynamic duo’s penetrations, so that they can get some easy baskets every now and again. We all know the kind of numbers these two players can put up night in and night out, but they’ll need a consistent offensive player other than Ibaka to help them get to the next level, and I believe Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb and eventually Perry Jones can really help in that regard.

One of the problems they’ve always had is having non-capable offensive players in their starting line-up (this season in Roberson and Sefolosha and Perkins in the past), what allows their defenders to fearlessly help out their teammates and make the Thunder’s buckets much tougher. They’ve already improved in that regard moving a more capable Adams to the starting line-up, but I still see this issue as a liability.

Also, I consider Westbrook’s ability to stay focus and make good decisions as a key factor for their success, because his shot selection’s not always the best and he tends to turn the basketball over way too many times in certain games.

Focusing on offensive plays, I believe any kind of screen with Ibaka involved will be a real powerful weapon for them because of his ability to knock shots down from the outside. Having multiple ball handlers (Westbrook, Durant, Jackson…) makes this weapon even better because you can play such amazing players off the ball, and defensive rotation is tougher because defenders have to think twice before leaving their man wide open. Obviously, pick and rolls between Westbrook and Durant just drive the defenders crazy and open up plenty of possibilities for their teammates, that’s why I find pretty important the fact that they’re surrounded by capable offensive players.

Finally, we all know how dangerous this team is on the run, so staying solid in defence and the awareness of the Thunder’s big men to quickly make the outlet pass after defensive rebound will be important for them to get easy points and some separation on the scores board.

Let’s now switch on to the defensive end of the court:

The Thunder have a bunch of great athletic individual defenders, but I consider Ibaka as the key player on this end of the floor. We saw that in the last Western Conference Finals, when he missed the first two games and really made a difference when he came back in the third. He makes you earn every single basket you score at the rim, and not only is that a strength in itself but also allows his teammates to avoid over helping and helps them close out better on perimeter shooters (this is especially important against teams that really move the ball well and love to make the extra pass like the San Antonio Spurs, because without Ibaka they can either kill you in the paint or find the open man consistently if you try to help too much in there).

With this being said, plus the great individual defenders I talked about (Westbrook, Roberson, Adams…), I do think OKC should really make a difference on this end of the floor and become a much better defensive team, which I believe has been one of their problems in the past years.


Likely Starting Line-up


Westbrook – Roberson – Durant – Ibaka – Adams


Prediction


Although they’ve got the unbelievable dynamic duo in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, I believe they don’t have the necessary depth to fight for the top spot in the West yet (plus all they’ve been through with injuries so far), so my prediction is they’ll be able to bounce back but won’t get further than the 3rd spot (I have to stick with the prediction I made before this NBA Season started off, but I think it’ll be real tough for them to get such a high spot in the loaded Western Conference).


Highlights


Here are some of the top plays from the Oklahoma City Thunder's main players:


Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)