Friday, September 26, 2014

BISCUTBALL PREVIEWS #2: Oklahoma City Thunder

Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott “Lil’ Hair” Brooks coaches an effective offense. The team has ranked 12th, 5th, 2nd, 1st and 7th in Offensive Rating in the seasons he has coached full time. But many people are unsatisfied with his offensive system. “It’s unsustainable,” they say, “You can’t just lean on Durant and Westbrook to create all the offense! There are consequences!

Think about an NBA game as a rocky deposit you trying to get point out of, deep underground. The Thunder use Westbrook as a sort of “Drill” that plunges “Deep into” the paint and "Breaks apart" opposing defenses, “Shale deposits” that contain precious points for powering an offense:

Westbrook draws in the defense, breaks up the rocks. Then Kevin Durant functions like a sort of, oh, I am a thinking a Sand/Water/Chemical mixture that gets injected into the shale deposits and releases even more precious, precious points.

See the fluidity of movement, moving all over the court. Seeping into the cracks Westbrook creates. Drilling every possible point out of the opposition.

But is this an effective long term strategy? The Thunder use force and power to get points out of the Earth. But all of the teams that out performed them offensively last year (Clippers, Blazers, Mavericks, Rockets, Heat, Spurs) used offensive systems (Spread screen and roll for Clips, Rockets, motion for Blazers and Mavs, a sort of freaky-unstoppable hybrid for the Spurs and Heat) that don’t depend as completely on the talents of two players. They’re more into letting the sustainable energy inherent in Basketball; the sun and the wind of the game, if you will.

Durant and Westbrook’s command over the team’s usage might be stunting the growth of any young players the team acquires. Poisoning the water they need to drink to grow. If you will.

“Chesapeake?” What’s that? How did this video get here

It is worth mentioning that even if Durant and Westbrook have off nights, they have Serge Ibaka, one of the league’s best rim protectors, Lobbying on the team’s behalf, influencing opposing offenses to help the team succeed in spite of an offense that occasionally stagnates against elite Progressive Defensive Opposition like Tony Allen, who can single cover Durant with questions like “Is Natural Gas seriously worth poisoning groundwater, one of the miracles on Earth that helps keep us alive? Not to mention possibly causing Earthquakes in your home state? I mean, you went to all that trouble to steal the team from a bigger market, it’s not even going to be worth it when the stadium is consumed by a giant fucking crack in the ground that opened up because your thirst for money that you won’t even spend was so unquenchable that you stuck your middle finger so deep in the Earth that it decided it needed to fight back in some way.” Or Gasol, protecting the paint from Westbrook with his patented “Shut up McLendon, you Tax Cheating Libertarian Clown” pick and roll coverage.

I can't wait for 2016.

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