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Oklahoma City Thunder: Offense scoring at historic levels

by Berry Tramel Published: June 13, 2012

The Thunder offense is playing well in the playoffs. Check that. The Thunder offense is playing historically-well in the playoffs.

The Thunder scored 105 points against Miami in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. In the San Antonio series, the Thunder scored 98, 111, 102, 109, 108 and 107. Against the Lakers, it was 119, 77, 96, 103 and 106. Against Dallas, 99, 102, 95 and 103.

That’s averages of 99.8 against Dallas, 1002. vs. the Lakers, 105.8 against San Antonio and now 105.0 vs. Miami.

Of course, raw scoring totals aren’t a great gauge of offenses. But according to nba-point-forward on, the Thunder is averaging 113 points per 100 possessions in the playoffs, which is 9.7 points better than the league average. In the 33 seasons of the 3-point shot era, only one team has scored in the playoffs at a rate more above the league average – the 2005 Suns, who scored 118.2 points per 100 possessions, more than 10 points a game better than the league playoff average.

Interestingly, almost every question to Scotty Brooks during the press conference Wednesday was about the Thunder defense.

But it’s the Thunder offense that is playing at an amazingly efficient level. Kevin Durant scored 17 fourth-quarter points and Russell Westbrook had 12 third-quarter points.

The Thunder scored on 15 of 21 fourth-quarter possessions and 14 of 22 third-quarter possessions. That’s scoring on 29 of 43 possessions against one of the league’s best defenses.

“Coach wants us to stay in attack mode, and Kevin, and we just kind of go with the flow,” Westbrook said. “I know when the fourth quarter comes, it’s my job to find a way to get Kevin the ball and find a way to get him easy shots and open shots, even if he misses them or makes them.

“Kevin knows when two guys are on him, he passes, and I stay in attack mode, as well. It’s kind of been a happy medium of me shooting or Kevin shooting or whoever shooting the ball, as long as we stay in attack mode.”


by Berry Tramel
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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