Thunder Backcourt Erupts and Roberson Holds Harden In Thunder Victory
By A. Suave Francisco
Wednesday night James Harden and the Rockets came to town. Russell Westbrook and the Thunder were coming off a four-game losing streak. The support of their home crowd in a highly anticipated game was exactly what they needed as they beat the Rockets 105-103 to improve their record to (7-5) on the season. However, even with that, there are some issues that the Thunder need to work out.
It wasn't pretty. Yes, OKC broke the 100-point mark but that was primarily because of Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo's combined 59 points for the game. The Thunder are very lucky that those two happened to have spectacular games because they were the only two Thunder players that scored in double-figures with the next highest scorers being Jerami Grant, Domantas Sabonis, and Enes Kanter with 8 apiece. This has been an ongoing problem for the Thunder through their first 12 games and something needs to change. Someone needs to step up, or Sam Presti will have to make a major move in-season so that this team won't fall too far into the trenches of the Western Conference.
Victor needs more games like this one. He scored 29 points and tallied 10 rebounds while shooting 12-for-18 from the field and 5-for-7 from three. Consistency is key, and if he can play like this, maybe the Thunder can make a run.
Andre Roberson had a deplorable offensive game, shooting 2-for-11 from the field, but had a dunk late in the fourth quarter to put OKC on the high side. He wasn't good by any stretch of the imagination in that department, but his defense on James Harden was spectacular. Harden finished the game with 13 points and 13 assists. Yes, the assists hurt OKC, but if he would've gotten his season average of 30.3 points, the Rockets would've won by double digits.
Harden's pregame comments about OKC being a "one-man show" clearly backfired on him as he underestimated Oladipo and forgot that Roberson would be guarding him.
This was a great win for the Thunder but there are still major concerns. There needs to be more than two players scoring in double figures consistently and the entire Thunder team has to step their defense up. One of the best offensive weapons only played 1:26 today and that's Anthony Morrow. He isn't a guy that will go out and score you 20-plus on any given night, but he's liable to score at least 10 if he receives more than 10 or 15 minutes of playing time. Having him on the court for a minute and a half does absolutely nothing for him or better yet, the team.
OKC cut their four-game losing streak by defeating the Houston Rockets at home and Russell Westbrook finished off the game with the dunk of the year and possibly the dunk of the decade. The Brooklyn Nets will come to OKC on Friday with a (4-7) record. This should be a game OKC flies through with no problems, but with this team, you never really know how they'll play.