OKC Thunder: SportVu cameras reveal interesting Thunder trends

Back in November, we took a look at the NBA's new SportVu cameras and what kind of data they were spewing out about the Thunder. Now that we're more than halfway done — 51 games into the regular season — with a far bigger sample size from these innovative trackers.
by Anthony Slater Published: February 6, 2014

Back in November, we took a look at the NBA's new SportVu cameras and what kind of data they were spewing out about the Thunder.

But that was six games into the season. Now we're more than halfway done — 51 games in — with a far bigger sample size from these innovative trackers.

Let's take a look at five interesting Thunder-related stats and trends that have developed:

Stat: Opponents shoot only 39.4 percent at the rim against Kendrick Perkins and 44.4 percent against Serge Ibaka.

Explanation: Both are top-notch interior defenders, and both do it in different yet effective ways. Perkins' defensive game is all about position and physicality. He tries to push you as far away from the hoop as possible, but even if you get toward the rim, he has shown an ability to knock people off-balance and contest shots well. Of the defenders who see at least 3.5 shots per game at the rim, Perkins' 39.4 percent opponent conversion rate is the fourth lowest.

Ibaka, meanwhile, is a high-flying weakside menace. And he isn't afraid to challenge any shot. He faces 9.4 shots per game at the rim, eighth most in the league. And of those who see at least eight shots per game at the rim, his 44.4 percent opponent conversion rate is fourth, behind only Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez and Roy Hibbert.

Stat: Kevin Durant has traveled 124.9 miles on the court this season, fourth most in the NBA

Explanation: More than anything, this number speaks to his consistent defensive effort and expanding all-around game. With such a scoring burden, he's always traveled plenty on the offensive end. But now, more and more, he's taking the challenge of guarding premier scorers on the other team. And within that, he's shown an ability to chase them around the court, running through screens and contesting shots. The three ahead of Durant on this list: Nicholas Batum (128.6) Klay Thompson (127.6) and Monta Ellis (127.2).

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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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