Thunder

OKC’s Win Streak Powered by Westbrook’s Production

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The streaking Oklahoma City Thunder took the league by storm last week. After taking the Knicks’ lunch money, bullying the Blazers, clipping the Pelicans’ wings and handling the Bucks, the Thunder quickly put together a five-game win streak.

The Thunder have shown versatility with every win they’ve earned. What shines through every night are their disruptive defensive efforts. While steals, blocks and deflections continue to pile up for OKC, they only tell half the story. As each member of the team steps into their role on the defensive side of things, the wins come easier.

As OKC’s defense becomes more prominent, their offense becomes a mixed bag. From winning a game while losing by 15 on the boards to shooting 50+ percent from the three, OKC continues to show all the ways they can win. The Thunder’s offensive identity comes and goes but most importantly it’s fueled by a strong defensive culture.

By The Numbers

OKC was only one of three teams that won all of their contests last week. They tied for first in the league in points per game with 122.5 on 45.5 made field goals per night.

Efficiency was the word of the week for OKC. They were second in the league from the field at 50.1% and 48.3% from three. Yet, they’re still struggling from the free throw line at 69.3%.

The Thunder are greedy on the defensive side of the ball, compiling the sixth most steals per game at nine, which led to the third best defensive rating in the league at 107.6.

Injury Report

As of January 24th, Alex Abrines is cleared for action according to Brett Dawson of The Athletic. Sadly, there’s still no good news for Andre Roberson’s knee injury. For the rest of the roster, there’s nothing more than a team’s fair share of bumps and bruises that come along with the NBA season.

MVP Of The Week

This week’s MVP made the term triple-double one of the most common in NBA conversations. Russell Westbrook’s production makes it hard to pass on him this week. His uncanny video game-like numbers rose as the team’s wave of wins raged on.

Last week, Westbrook averaged 21.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 12.5 assists while recording an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.1. Even his poor shooting efficiency can’t hold him back. Westbrook gets this week’s hardwood in spectacular fashion while recording a 7.5 box plus/minus all week.

Despite Paul George‘s continued late-game heroics, Westbrook narrowly edges him out as OKC’s played of the week thanks to his all-around production. George dropped 31.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.5 steals this past week.

Trends To Watch

OKC has extended their hot three-point shooting. In their five contests last week, they finished with a league-high 48.3% from deep. The Thunder are extremely dangerous from behind the line and not just on a limited number of attempts. They connected for 56 threes over the stretch, only second to the Toronto Raptors, who had 59.

Next Up

OKC hits the road to battle the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat and Boston Celtics this week. This will be the first time they face all three teams this season. So far, the Thunder are 13-4 against the Eastern Conference this year, and they’ll look to return home with an eight-game win streak.

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