The Thunder fell behind 25-9 proper out of the gates towards an environment friendly Blazers squad in a runaway Portland win, however turnovers and second possibilities had been controllable areas the place OKC will look to enhance upon transferring ahead.
The Portland Path Blazers, now with its roster rounding again into fuller well being, is a group that doesn’t want any straightforward buckets to assist their trigger. Already an environment friendly offense by prioritizing the 3-point line and being able to attain in any respect three ranges, Portland’s dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum had been aided by six Thunder turnovers within the first six minutes of motion on Saturday evening.
These giveaways had been a pattern by means of the night, as Oklahoma Metropolis dedicated 22 turnovers that led to 34 Portland factors, although most of these turnovers had been the sort borne from good intentions. Thunder drivers had been attempting to make a play to place stress on the paint, draw fouls or kick out to the perimeter, however Blazers defenders had clogged up the paint, swiped down or anticipated the transfer.
“There’s a number of completely different sorts of turnovers. There’s a number of flavors on the menu,” mentioned head coach Mark Daigneault. “Those the place we’re attempting to do an excessive amount of by both over-penetrating or attempting to make a extra sophisticated move than we have to slightly than the A and B move, these are those it’s a must to right instantly and have much less tolerance for.”
“Then there are ones which can be only a byproduct of aggression. There’s one’s which can be simply robust performs. These are ones that you’ve got a bit little bit of a abdomen for,” Daigneault added. “We’d prefer to be a group that strikes the ball. There’s an publicity danger to passing. The extra you move the extra possible the ball is to get deflected or the extra possible you might be to show it over. We’ve to stay with the trade-off of being a ball motion group but in addition clear up these ones which can be fairly correctable.”
As the sport went on, the Thunder confirmed flashes of studying from these conditions, and even bought a pleasant 11-2 flurry that was spurred by three straight sharp passes that knifed by means of Portland’s protection.
The primary one got here from Aleksej Pokuševski on a drive from the fitting aspect of the ground into the lane together with his left hand. The 19-year-old playmaker whipped a lefty move over his head to middle Tony Bradley for a simple end. On the following possession, rookie two-way wing Josh Corridor zipped a laser of a move to Bradley on a center decide and roll, additionally together with his left hand.
This Poku move has us like @aleksejpokusevs @ToBrad1 pic.twitter.com/gV8CG854Qq
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 4, 2021
“I feel these had been nice reads and nice passes,” mentioned Bradley. “The motion that we ran again to again, we executed it effectively. Simply nice reads by these two.”
Then after a Blazers turnover, Pokuševski rushed into the open flooring attracted a number of defenders and fired a move to Kenrich Williams on the wing for 3 to drive a Portland timeout. That fast Thunder rush put Portland on its heels for a bit, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to make this one aggressive.
One other fast spurt by the Thunder, a 4-0 begin coming proper out of the locker room at halftime, was shortly snuffed out by an 18-1 Portland run that put this one away for good early within the fourth quarter. New Blazers wing Norman Powell hit a high of the important thing three then adopted it up by a transition bucket off a turnover.
A missed Thunder 3-pointer led to a goaltended Jusuf Nurkic shot, then Lillard and McCollum buried 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to drive Portland’s lead as much as 30 factors with 8:24 to go within the interval.
For the twelfth time within the final 14 video games, Kenrich Williams shot 50 % or higher from the ground, and he punctuated his 18-point, 7-for-13 capturing efficiency with a slick stop-and-pop midrange jumper within the fourth quarter. Williams began driving baseline, used a tough proper to left dribble between his legs and let go of a fadeaway jumper, and bought fouled within the course of. He made the free throw for good measure.
“It’s trusting my work and simply having that religion,” mentioned Williams. “My teammates imagine in me, the teaching employees believes in me and that makes the sport a lot simpler, simply understanding that these guys have faith in you.”
Rebounds for Moses Brown within the sport to go along with 10 factors as a part of his sixth double-double in his final 10 video games for the Thunder.
“When now we have issues on the court docket, it’s necessary that we ensure that we remedy the issue with 5 guys. Not one single particular person goes to resolve the issue. We’re going to resolve the issue with 5 guys and which means utilizing each single one in all our teammates to our benefit.”
“We’ve competed a lot better than this a lot of the season. There’s all the time type of ebbs and flows to the season. There’s instances the place issues appear to be clicking and going effectively after which there’s instances the place irrespective of how laborious you hit the fuel, the engine doesn’t flip. The largest factor is studying classes by means of that and sticking collectively by means of that. The NBA season is attempting and there’s a number of ups and downs. The groups that may get stronger by means of these adversities and participant that may get stronger by means of these adversities are those that thrive over time. We simply have to ensure we’re internalizing these experiences, studying the teachings and permitting them to make us stronger.”
After a particularly fast street journey all the way in which to the Pacific Northwest, the Thunder will get a time without work on Easter Sunday earlier than returning to motion for 4 straight house video games in Oklahoma Metropolis, beginning with Monday evening’s tilt towards the Detroit Pistons.
Dwelling candy house on Monday.#ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/Rk80Tb3vnR
— Bally Sports activities Oklahoma (@BallySportsOK) April 4, 2021
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