Thunder mid-season report

With a record of 24-17 the Oklahoma City Thunder made it to the halfway point of their 2016-17 NBA season in seventh place in the Western Conference. Russell Westbrook is a candidate for Most Valuable Player. Westbrook is averaging 30.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.5 assists per game. Trying to do something that has not been done since the days of Oscar Robertson, Westbrook is averaging a triple-double!

Is it possible for the Thunder to be better NOW? Are they in touch with reality? Who are the five most efficient at each position? And, which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? These are the questions we will answer in our Hoop Obsession mid-season report.

Westbrook is in the midst of a career defining season.

Although the Thunder are in seventh place in the West, they are only one game out of fifth place. In our opinion, Westbrook is in a close race with James Harden of the Houston Rockets for the NBA's top individual award. The production OKC gets from Westbrook is astounding. Finding players to complement his vast array of skills is tricky. This season, the Thunder have received reliable help from Enes Kanter, and Steven Adams. Victor Oladipo has had his moments too.

Aside from the elite point guard play from Westbrook, the Thunder are really set up well at center. Steven Adams is a top notch NBA defender that will play physical ball with any opposing BIG. Enes Kanter is much better offensively than Adams and Kanter is making strides this season on defense as well.

Where the Thunder could clearly be better is at just about all guard and wing reserve spots. Semaj Criston, Alex Abrines, and Anthony Morrow have all struggled. Andre Roberson is shooting just 28% from 3-pt. range and as solid as he is defensively, his inability to accurately hit deep shots hurts the Thunder offense. Jerami Grant, acquired in an early season trade, presently shoots the three-ball well enough but lacks the overall efficiency and decision making to be consistently effective as a rotation player (at this stage of his career).

In our opinion Joffrey Lauvergne outplayed Domas Sabonis in the first half of the season. Perhaps Head Coach Billy Donovan can find some more minutes for Lauvergne.

Are the Thunder in touch with their reality?

Yes. OKC is invested most in Russell Westbrook and Enes Kanter. Any team with Westbrook is a team that should shoot for the championship.

We do wonder if the Thunder are exhausting all means to get an efficient small forward. It could be huge for their chances to succeed against the likes of the Clippers, Jazz, Rockets, Spurs, Warriors or Grizzlies.

The Thunder have their own 2017 first round NBA Draft pick. It is likely that their second round pick will be conveyed to Denver.

Five most efficient by position

PG - Russell Westbrook .942, SG - Victor Oladipo .424, SF - Jerami Grant .327, PF - Joffrey Lauvergne .481, C - Enes Kanter .766

Which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? (players w/ 300 minutes played minimum)

The Thunder TEAM defensive rating is 106.3 (8th of 30). The players with defensive ratings better than the team average: Russell Westbrook 103, Steven Adams 104, Enes Kanter 105


NBA related. Trade targets.