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Oklahoma City Thunder: Does Thunder have reasons to worry?

All throughout March there were ups and downs, highs and lows that, at this point of the year, could be categorized as either coincidences or causes for concern.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: March 31, 2013

The month of March has come and gone, and only eight regular season games remain.

But before starting the countdown to the end of what could be the Thunder's first 60-win season, it's important to look back on the month that was.

The Thunder went 12-5 in March, a respectable record but one that only scratches the surface of how the team actually performed. All throughout the month there were ups and downs, highs and lows that, at this point of the year, could be categorized as either coincidences or causes for concern.

With the start of the playoffs now less than three weeks away, we'll soon learn whether those March trends will define the Thunder in the postseason or turn into distant memories when it matters most.

In the meantime, here are a few of the more significant developments we saw in March.

Poor rebounding: The Thunder out-rebounded 10 of its 17 opponents in March, but that surface-level success belies the actual struggles OKC had. The Thunder allowed 12.6 offensive rebounds in the month and 14.6 in the month's final seven games. One of the team's long-standing problem areas appeared to be getting worse rather than better.

Kevin Durant turnovers: Not even the biggest Durant supporter could ignore his issues with ball security. He averaged 4.2 turnovers in March and had at least five turnovers in eight games. That included a season-high eight turnovers in a game against Utah. Durant finished strong, turning it over just 2.8 times on average in his final four games. But with the Thunder expected to rely much more on Durant's playmaking this postseason without James Harden around, his continued struggles as a passer are worrisome.

Russell Westbrook's dominance: If February was the best month of Westbrook's career, March might go down as his second best. He averaged 23.5 points, 5.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists while shooting 45.3 percent. He did it while averaging just 34.6 minutes, the second fewest he's had in any month this season. Fittingly, he capped the month with his first triple-double of the year and the sixth of his career.

Reggie Jackson's emergence: The second-year point guard grew confident in March and blossomed into a weapon off the bench. He averaged 6.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 16.1 minutes and shot 46.2 percent. Along the way, Jackson showed he's virtually unstoppable when he decides to get to the rim and extremely crafty as a finisher once there. If Jackson is able to maintain his effectiveness, the Thunder's bench won't be as bad as many fear it could be this postseason.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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