Thunder: Russell Westbrook series’ most effective player
Someone on the radio said Kendrick Perkins has been a bust for this playoff series against Denver, which of course sent me to the box scores, and I was going to write about Perk’s value, even against Nene’. Which I will. But I got involved in some other stuff, all of which made me decide to write about all 10 Thunders and how they’ve played in this series.
First, an admission. I am big on plus/minus, which measures the game score while you’re on the court. It’s best to measure plus/minus in terms of minutes played. In other words, if Kevin Durant plays three times as many minutes as Daequan Cook, and their effectiveness is equal, then Durant will have three times the plus/minus numbers. But that doesn’t mean Durant hasn’t been three times as effective, although certainly playing at a high level for 30 minutes trumps playing at a high level for 10.
Anyway, let’s get right to it. We’ll rank the Thunder based on plus/minus in this series.
1. Russell Westbrook. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The Thunder hasn’t just played well with Westbrook on the court. It has played spectacularly well. His plus/minus was +21 in Game 2 and +14 in Game 3. Even Game 4, when Westbrook was roasted for taking 30 shots, he was the only Boomer starter with a plus, +4. Westbrook’s plus/minus total is +35 and his 48-minute average is +11.58. From the regular season, Westbrook’s scoring is up (26.3, 21.9) and his rebounding is up (6.8, 4.6). His assists (8.2, 6.8) and field-goal percentage (.442, .430) are slightly down.
2. Nick Collison: Collison’s plus/minus numbers for Games 1 and 2 — +12 and +16. For a reserve? For a guy that plays only half the game? Those are monster numbers. Collison was -8 in Game 3 and even in Game 4, so his overall plus/minus for the series is +20, with a 48-minute average of +11.85. Collison’s averages aren’t far off the regular season — 6.0 points, 3.5 rebounds in the series; 4.6 points, 4.5 rebounds during the season — but check out his shooting. Ten of 14. Collison barely has missed.
3. Kevin Durant: Durant actually has a higher plus/minus total, +26, than does Collison, but over 48 minutes, the average is +7.47. Durant’s shooting has been superb; 45.5 percent in the series, after shooting 46.2 percent during the season. But Durant has made 14 of 27 3-pointers in the series after making just 35 percent during the season. Hey, Scotty Brooks. Get Durant some more 3-pointers.
4. James Harden: The only Thunder with a plus in every playoff game: +7, +4, +11, +1. His 48-minute average is +9.43. And Brooks has taken notice. Harden’s minutes per game have jumped from 26.7 in the season to 29.3 in the series. Harden really hasn’t changed much from the season, though his scoring is down to 10.0 from 12.2 and he’s shooting slightly worse, just 40.7. But the Thunder seems to play well when he’s on the court. And that doesn’t mean Thabo Sefolosha has to sit. Denver allows Brooks to go small at times; play Durant at power forward, with both Harden and Thabo on the court.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
- 24190Oklahoma baseball: Joe Simpson 'thrilled' that Sunny Golloway left OU
- 13456Classen School of Advanced Studies valedictorian disappears while hiking with family in Ecuador
- 11113Tom Ward is out as SandRidge's CEO
- 10453UPDATE: I-40 reopened at Shields after fatal wreck
- 7895Oklahoma State football: A stunning success story at the box office
- 6976Oklahoma State football: Mike Gundy lifts Wes Lunt restrictions, but too late
- 6568Prosecutors say stolen car was at heart of 2011 fatal shootings in Oklahoma City
- 6301Get App-y: Google Glass to offer heads-up computing
- 6165Team Blake's Danielle Bradbery wins "The Voice"; The Swon Brothers finish in third place
- 4992Will Oklahomans get on board with new water toy?
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients