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Oklahoma City Thunder: Grades after two games

by Berry Tramel Published: May 2, 2012

As the Thunder-Maverick series shifts to Dallas for Games 3 and 4, let’s review how each Boomer has played in the series, which Oklahoma City leads 2-0.

Nick Collison: B. Collison has more fouls (nine) than points and rebounds combined (four of each). But no big deal. Collison has one mission in this series. Guard Dirk Nowitzki reasonably well. Collison did it very well for stretches of Game 1. Collison’s plus/minus for the series is even — the Thunder and Mavs have scored the same amount of points when Collison is on the floor.

Daequan Cook: C. Cook has not shot well — 1-of-6 total, 0-for-5 from 3-point range — and shooting is his job. But Cook has four rebounds in 17:53 of playing time, which makes him the team’s No. 2 rebounder per minute, trailing only Kendrick Perkins. And Cook hasn’t hurt the Thunder. His plus/minus was +7 in Game 2, even in Game 1.

Kevin Durant: C. Nobody much has written about this, but the biggest concern I see with Shawn Marion’s defense on Durant is the resulting shot selection. Durant’s frustration is mounting, to the point he took some shaky shots in Game 2. That floating one-hander away from the basket? Get rid of that. KD’s plus/minus is -6, including a -7 in Game 2.

Derek Fisher: B. Fisher is averaging 20 minutes a game, and it’s hard to knock Scotty Brooks for using Fish when he plays like this. After a nothing Game 1, Fisher was superb in Game 2 — 5-of-6 shooting, 11 points. That’s why the Thunder signed him. Fisher is one of just two Thunders with a positive plus/minus in both games (+1, +11).

James Harden: A. Is it possible that Harden is the NBA’s most efficient player? I’m serious. I think he might be. Even when Harden is having an off night, he’s on. Harden in two games has made just two six of 14 shots. Which by the way, isn’t enough shots. The Thunder needs to get Harden more. But he’s living at the foul line; 19 of 20 combined, which gives Harden 34 points for the series. His plus/minus is +15, including a +16 in Game 2.

Serge Ibaka: B. Ibaka was sensational in Game 1; maybe his best game ever, with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, plus six rebounds and five blocked shots and excellent defense on Dirk. But Ibaka was down to Earth in Game 2, when he played 17 fewer minutes, with only two points and blocked shot. Ibaka joins Fisher as the only Boomers with positive a plus/minus in both games — +2, +14.

Kendrick Perkins: A. Without an opposing center of substance, Perkins’ value usually wanes. Dallas certainly has no center of substance, but Perk has been huge in both games. His late defense against Dirk in Game 1 helped save the Thunder, then Gran Torino became an offensive force in Game 2, with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Perkins also had six rebounds. Still, his plus/minus was -10 for that game, while it was +2 in Game 1.

Thabo Sefolosha: C. Thabo’s defensive value is lessened because the Mavs bring Jason Terry off the bench. Scotty Brooks was slow to adjust in Game 1, which meant Terry played a bunch of minutes without Sefolosha sitting. Brooks changed that in Game 2, but Russell Westbrook has emerged as the guy who seems to do the best job on Terry. Thabo’s plus/minus (even in Game 1, -14 in Game 2) is the worst in the series for the Thunder.

Russell Westbrook: A. Hard to imagine how a guy could play much better. Let’s review — 23-of-44 shooting, 57 points, seven assists, seven turnovers, excellent clutch defense. Several huge shots. Westbrook could cut down on his turnovers, but outside of that, I don’t know. Westbrook’s plus/minus is strange: -3 in Game 1, +1 in Game 2.

 

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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