Thunder

PG’s Elevated Play Anchoring OKC’s Surge

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OKC continues to have a polarizing season with a mixed bag of results from their games this past week. The team is 3-2 in their last five games, cementing them in the third seed out West.

Through the last seven days, they’ve earned two strong wins and two of the worse losses of the season. The Thunder took revenge on the surging San Antonio Spurs and beat the Philadelphia 76ers courtesy of some Paul George heroics. In a much more alarming turn of events, the Thunder lost to the lottery-bound Atlanta Hawks and the LeBron-less Lakers.

MVP Of The Week

Paul George has been the model of consistency for the Thunder and not just for the week, but the entire season. His numbers in OKC’s wins and losses are nearly identical. His field goal and three-point shooting splits vary by less than 4%. He’s missed just two free throws over the past five games (35/37)– a near perfect 95% through the week.

George leads OKC in points per game with a career-best 26.8. In the Thunder’s two wins, it’s been his late-game heroics that earned him this honor. A huge four-point play sealed the epic road win over Philly.

Trends to Watch

Over the last five games, the Thunder have vastly improved their three-point shooting. As a team, they’ve shot 33.8 three-pointers per game at a 40.8% clip, an uptick from their 30 attempts and 33%. OKC set a franchise record of 22 made three pointers against the Lakers.

A big part of the new look Thunder can be contributed to Terrance Ferguson. He’s doubled his scoring output while going 14-for-31 from the three-point line. He’s increased in efficiency during wins leading to an assist to turnover ratio of nearly 2.0. If Ferguson keeps up his confident play he’ll fulfill his draft projections much sooner than later.

Injury Report

After being diagnosed with a concussion that forced him to miss three contests, Nerlens Noel suited up against the Lakers. He remains a key fixture in OKC’s frontcourt rotation.

Up Next

The Thunder finish the week with three home games against the fourth place Portland Trail Blazers (29-19), the ailing New Orleans Pelicans (22-25), and the East-leading Milwaukee Bucks (34-12).

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