The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Houston Rockets 118-87 in Game 1 of their first-round series. The Thunder kept the game close for quite a while but were eventually blown out by the Rockets. Here’s what they need to change in order to ensure a victory in Game 2.
To put it nicely, Russell Westbrook was absolutely atrocious in Game 1. Sure, his stat line of 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 7 assists doesn’t look too bad. That is until you take into account the fact that he shot 6/23 (26 percent) from the field and turned the ball over nine, count it, NINE times. I promise you this: If Westbrook continues to play like this, the Rockets will sweep the Thunder and break the record for largest margin of victory ever recorded in a seven-game series. Westbrook needs to be better and I suspect he will be from here on out.
Wow. I thought Westbrook was having a bad game until I noticed what Victor Oladipo was doing. This man went 1/12 from the field. That is eight percent shooting. I don’t even know how that happened but it did and it’d better not happen again for the sake of the Thunder’s chances at advancing.
Muck it up
If you miss any of the upcoming games in this series and you go to check the box score, you only need to look at one number: How many points the Rockets put up. The Rockets were second in points-per-game (PPG) this year at 115.3. The Thunder were 11th in PPG this year at 106.6. If the Rockets score over 110 points, the Thunder basically have no shot.
The Thunder will need to muck it up going forward with hopes that the games are close late and Westbrook can steal enough to win the series. How will they do this? They’ll have to deploy their best defensive lineups.
Any time you lose by 31 points, you obviously need to make adjustments. The Thunder know this and they’d better give their best shot at doing so or they’ll be gone fishing faster than they can blink.
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