Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Thunder Steal One in New York

Kevin Durant Shooting (photo by Keith Allison)
The Thunder stole a win in New York 128-122 in overtime. Kevin Durant came up huge in this game, putting up 44 points. KD made up for what was a lackluster outing for the Thunder bench (aside from Cameron Payne). The Knicks bench, on the other hand, was outstanding. Derrick Williams and Langston Galloway combined for 40 points off the Knicks bench.

Russell Westbrook was nice as always, he almost had a triple double (just two rebounds shy). Westbrook looked to pass early and got Steven Adams some easy shots. It would be great to see Westbrook have a more consistent balance between passing and shooting. This Thunder team doesn't have great offensive firepower beyond KD and Rus, but with penetration Westbrook can create shots for others.

New York kept this game close despite being without Carmelo Anthony (he sat out with a sore knee). The offense was balanced well until crunch time in the fourth quarter and overtime. When the game was winding down, New York went away from moving without the ball and passing. Aaron Afflalo had his share of horrible isolation heaves and the Knicks did themselves in because of that.

Carmelo Anthony is a decent isolation player, though Anthony wasn't playing in order to allow that to play out, but abandoning what's kept you close all night makes no sense if you're New York. The triangle offense is about moving with and without the ball and taking what the defense gives you. Why should the type of plays that are run change so dramatically because the game is near its close?

Cameron Payne showed some offensive prowess last night. Payne hit timely three's, showed the ability to penetrate and looked like a solid backup. Plus he's left handed! Cameron Payne is a young guard to watch, hopefully Payne will continue to get minutes at the backup point.

This was an exciting game, close for the duration. Kevin Durant was the key to a thunderous equation. Duping and hooping, now it's time for the Knicks to reflect on their follies and have a libation!