Thunder’s main problem: Turnovers
The Thunder has turned into a team we can stand to live with, but here’s the next step for a team that still has the league’s worst record: taking better care of the ball.
Oklahoma City leads the NBA in turnovers, 16.5 a game. They are next-to-last in turnover margin, 2.59. That means the Thunder averages giving opponents 21/2 extra possessions per game. Does anyone now wonder why the Boomers have lost so many close games?
Sunday night, Oklahoma City trailed 90-83 with eight minutes left in the game against Miami. Down the stretch, the Thunder committed five turnovers, including one when trailing 90-83 (Russell Westbrook), 90-85 (Earl Watson) and 98-87 (Jeff Green).
Durant leads the Thunder in turnovers, 3.2 per game, which is sixth in the NBA. Westbrooks ranks 10th in the league at 3.0.
The top 10 list actually is full of superstars. Dwyane Wade, Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Yao Ming, Deron Williams.
Not bad company to keep. It’s understandable to have one primary player commit a lot of turnovers for a team. But when two players from the same team are fumble-fingers, it’s bad news for a ballclub.
Durant and Westbrook — and Jeff Green and Earl Watson, both of whom average over two turnovers per game — have to take better care of the ball for the Thunder to improve dramatically.
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