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OKC Thunder: John Hollinger reveals his Thunder scouting report

by Anthony Slater Modified: April 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm •  Published: September 20, 2012
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant holds the Western Conference Championship Trophy after the 107-99 win over San Antonio during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant holds the Western Conference Championship Trophy after the 107-99 win over San Antonio during Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2012. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Over the next month, ESPN NBA Insider John Hollinger is releasing team scouting reports, closely analyzing every player in the league.

First up, Hollinger broke down both of the NBA finalists, kicking off his countdown with the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder.

It’s well-researched and thorough stuff, great for any NBA fanatic. Here’s his complete player-by-player breakdown of the Thunder.

But if you’re looking for a condensed version, Hollinger put together a brief scouting synopsis, with positives and negatives, at the start of his breakdown. The highlights are below:

Kevin Durant

+ Tall, long-armed scoring prodigy with unblockable release. Deadly in transition.
+ Great foul shooter. Lacks strength. Struggles to get open against physical D.
+ Good handle and improved passer. Length an asset on defense and boards.

Russell Westbrook

+ Freakishly athletic shoot-first guard with great burst to basket. Penetrates at will.
+ Shaky long-range shooter but excels at midrange pull-up. Makes bad decisions.
+ Could be excellent defender, but effort has slackened. Great offensive rebounder.

Thabo Sefolosha 

+ Strong wing defender with good size and lateral movement. Very good rebounder.
+ Good handle for size but has poor offensive instincts and makes terrible decisions.
+ Effective finisher in open court but a mediocre outside shooter.

Serge Ibaka

+ Athletic, long-armed, shot-blocking ace still learning fundamentals.
+ Overrated defender who struggles against floor-spacers. Good rebounder.
+ Very good midrange shooter. No post game and poor offensive instincts.

Kendrick Perkins

+ Tough-as-nails post defender who likes physical play. Very strong.
+ Plodding low-post game. Lacks elevation and takes forever to gather and go up.
+ Sets bone-jarring screens but prone to offensive fouls. Can make short jumpers.

James Harden

+ Skilled left-hander who excels at pick-and-roll game. Prodigious drawer of fouls.
+ Left-dominant. Sees court well but turnover-prone. Good set shooter from 3.
+ Middling wing defender who rebounds well. Good hands, has cut foul rate.

Nick Collison

+ Heady big who excels at defending pick-and-rolls and taking charges.
+ Not as strong in 1-on-1 defense. B-athlete but elevates quickly. Fouls often.
+ Decent midrange shooter but rarely shoots. Good offensive rebounder.

Daequan Cook

+ Jump-shooting wing with strong catch-and-shoot game. Elevates well on jumper.
+ Solid athlete, but a weak ball handler. Virtually never goes to the basket.
+ Solid, unspectacular defender but a bit undersized for the 3. Not a rebounder.

Eric Maynor

+ Steady point guard with pass-first mindset. Good handle but B-grade athlete.
+ Average outside shot, and struggles to get to rim. Returning from knee injury.
+ Decent position defender. Has thin frame but moves well and competes.

Reggie Jackson

+ Athletic point guard who plays out of control. Needs to calm down.
+ Good court vision but instincts are as scorer. Quick and has good size.
+ Disappointing shooter as rookie. Must improve finishing and shot selection.

Cole Aldrich

+ Long big man who can rebound and block shots.
+ Can finish at rim but has few other offensive skills.
+ Needs more game experience and better defensive reactions.

Perry Jones

+ Tall combo forward who can run, jump and score. Good shooter for size.
+ Athleticism doesn’t impact games. Tends to disappear. Questionable motor.

Lazar Haywood

+ Tough, aggressive wing but fouls like crazy. Good rebounder for size.
+ Poor outside shooter. Cannot elevate or finish. Weak ball skills.
+ Strong and competes on defense, but lateral quickness iffy.

Hasheem Thabeet

+ Long, tall, slender center with knack for shot-blocking.
+ Lacks strength. Foul prone. Has poor basketball instincts at both ends.
+ Can make short-range jumpers but has no post game whatsoever.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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