Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fell into the Lake Early

The Thunder were back to their old tricks again getting blown away 30-20 in the first quarter against the Lakers before losing 105-94. On the bright side, OKC only fell behind a total of 1 point over the next three quarters hanging fairly even with the Kobe-less Lakers (Kobe's only playing time came in the rough first quarter).

The highlight of the game for the Thunder was definately Russell Westbrook who came off of the bench to lead the team in scoring with 23 points off of 7 for 12 shooting from the field. He added an additional 9 points from the line. Durant was the #2 scorer with 15 points, and Damien Wilkins and Johan Petro were the Thunder's other players to break into double digits with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Jeff Green and Earl Watson had adbismal performances shooting from the field with neither shooting better than 20%. Watson contributed one three but attempted five others. Durant was also pretty lame from the field only hitting 4 of 12.

Chris Wilcox sat out the game, the second straight game he's sat out, due to his hamstring injury. With Wilcox out, Nick Collision moved to power forward and Petro took over as center. Collision only played during the first half so to not over do it on his wounded knees. Petro has been better than expected this preseason and has definately made a case to be a starter or be given a good dose of playing time this season. With both Wilcox and Collision banged up, expect him to get a few starts early in the season.

The Thunder were a miserable 2 for 14 from three point land, but their field goal shooting wasn't much better: 38.0%. For comparision, the Lakers were 5 of 16 from beyond the arc and 55.1% from the field. Frankly with such an impressive field goal percentage from the Lakers, it's amazing that the Thunder managed to only lose by 11.

A key thing that keep OKC in this game was extra opportunities from the free throw line. The Thunder shot 38 free throws compared to the Lakers 20, and they made 32 to L.A.'s 14. This has been a consistant theme throughout the preseason. The Thunder only have shot fewer and made fewer free throws in the game against the Kings. Currently they are averaging roughly 8 more free throw opportunities which is resulting in about 6 extra points per game. If the Thunder can continue this trend in the regular season, it could go a long ways towards helping them steal a couple extra wins.

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