Jeff’s NBA Game of the Night – Toronto @ Oklahoma City
My plan is to watch one game per night and give my thoughts on what I see. I picked Toronto at Oklahoma City because I want to see how Oklahoma City’s offence evolves without James Harden and I love me some Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas.
What I was looking forward to:
– OKC looking to move away from a ball-stopping offence with isolation sets galore.
– Kyle Lowry doing Kyle Lowry things with a scowl.
What actually happened:
The Thunder built up a big lead early and the second half was basically garbage time with the final score being 108-88. When the Thunder starters were playing in the first half they did have some nice sets where the ballhandler would hand a ball off to a wing or big man and make a curl or back door cut to lose their defender for a layup. This happened a few times and must have driven Dwayne Casey nuts. Russell Westbrook started a bit slowly but shot better as the game went on. Kevin Durant’s crossover at his size is sick. He will be unguardable as he continues to develop it and keeps making plays like finding Thabo Sefolosha for corner 3’s. The Thunder also did a great job making the extra pass on the perimeter to set up an open jump shooter. We even saw some Hasheem Thabeet time where he was active, had a steal and then comically fell down and actually showed a bit of touch from the free throw line. I thought OKC attacked Lowry effectively all night. Kevin Martin played a good game and looked more active than normal on the defensive end.
The Raptors couldn’t buy a basket, especially Bargnani early who missed 2 or 3 open top of the key 3’s. Losing Lowry to an ankle injury was a buzzkill and hopefully he is back soon. I love Jonas’ game. He is active for his size, makes himself big on both ends of the floor and his pump fake is a legit offensive weapon. He will continue to get better and will continue to make me second guess the Cavaliers draft last year when they had the fourth pick with Jonas available. Terrence Ross played some garbage time and was quite the gunner and did show a nice stroke. Landry Fields and DeMar DeRozan did not have strong games. The DeRozan extension signed last week baffles me. He isn’t a bad scorer despite the fact he is not a good jump shooter but he doesn’t bring anything else to the table. I think the Raptors could have used their cap room a little more wisely than signing DeRozan for four more years at $10 million or so per.
There are 13 games on the schedule tonight so it will be fun to pick which one to watch. I’m guessing it will be between Brooklyn at Miami and San Antonio at the Clippers.
If are you looking to go check out the Toronto Raptors, there is a teambuy for $15 seats! Get em while they are hot! (the tickets that is)