NBA.com’s John Schuhmann uncovered a surprising stat on Wednesday afternoon, revealing a potential flaw in the Thunder’s defense.
According to the new SportVu data, OKC ranks dead last in the NBA at contesting opposing jumpshots.
A contested jumper, according to NBA.com, is defined by a shot taken at least 10 feet away from the hoop in which a defender is within at least four feet of the shooter.
Entering Wednesday, OKC only contested 23.8 percent of such shots. The league average is 30.9.
“We’ve been one of the better defensive teams the last three years,” Scott Brooks said, brushing off the number a bit. “… I do focus exclusively on defensive field goal percentage and last I checked a couple games ago, we were second in the league.”
Entering Wednesday, the Thunder was tied for second in the league in that category, allowing only 43 percent shooting. And in many other defensive metrics, the Thunder ranks near the top.
FISHER ON WESTBROOK’S RETURN
During his farewell tour around the NBA, Derek Fisher continues to share personal experiences on his personal website.
Recently, Fisher posted an update with his thoughts on Russell Westbrook’s return, writing that “we have our heartbeat again.”
“Russell isn’t just a dynamic basketball player statistically,” Fisher wrote. “He also has a dynamic presence. There’s no replacing his energy level and his voice, and he just brings a certain brand of toughness, confidence and swagger to our game as a team.”
But, Fisher admitted, an adjustment period was inevitable.
“The reality is: It doesn’t matter what you’re doing,” Fisher wrote. “If you have to stop doing that thing for weeks or months, it takes a while for you to get used to doing it again.”
ADAMS GETS EXTENDED MINUTES
In his first start in place of the injured Kendrick Perkins, Steven Adams played only 16 minutes.
In his second, Adams received 25, his most playing time since mid-December. He had four points, four rebounds and one block.
“He had some good moments,” Brooks said. “And he had some moments we are going to look at on film and correct them for the next game.”
Kevin Durant on OKC’s recent slump: “It’s not on the coaches, it’s on the players.”
The Thunder continues its six-game homestand on Friday against the Grizzlies. Memphis is finally healthy and starting to round into form, winning five of its past six games.
By Anthony Slater