With week one under their belt, the Oklahoma City Thunder are sitting pretty at 3-0 and in first place in the Pacific Division in the Western Conference. The biggest takeaway from week one was Russell Westbrook, who had cemented his case already as an MVP candidate with two triple-doubles already. Westbrook is currently averaging 38.6 points, 11.6 assists and 12.3 rebounds. The last and only player in NBA history to average a triple-double was Cincinnati Royals star Oscar "The Big-O" Robertson and Westbrook could be on his way to joining him. The other big takeaway from Westbrook's play so far this season is this:
And we are only one week in! Here is a recap from every game from week one of the regular season for Oklahoma City:
Wednesday, 26 October 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Away
The Oklahoma City Thunder opened up the regular season away from home in the City of Brotherly Love against the Philadelphia 76ers and walked away victorious with a final score of 103-97. Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 32 points along with 12 rebounds and 9 assists. This game was also the eagerly anticipated debut of Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid and he did not disappoint after finishing with 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Another player making his debut was Victor Oladipo for Oklahoma City. Oladpio had a quiet outing finishing with 10 points on 4-16 shooting to go with 5 rebounds and 1 assist.
The biggest problem for Oklahoma City was exposed on the defensive side of the ball. When Adams sits, Oklahoma City is hopeless on defense with Enes Kanter manning the middle. Kanter has been a known defensive liability to begin with and Philadelphia bigs Embiid and Jahlil Okafor had a heyday with the lack of protection. Oklahoma City also was beyond poor containing players on the perimeter and with Adams on the bench Philadelphia was able to slash and attack the basket with relative ease. The final key problem for the Thunder was when Westbrook was given time to rest the offense came to a grinding halt. Westbrook played 36 minutes in the first game of the season and he cannot keep this up if he wants to have any energy for the playoffs. Oklahoma City needs Cameron Payne to heal quickly to help create offense off the bench for the Thunder.
The Thunder play the Philadelphia 76ers one more time this season on March 22, 2017 in Oklahoma City.
Friday, 28 October 2016 at 08:00 PM ET Home
The Thunder made their home regular season debut against the Phoenix Suns and came out victorious in overtime with a final score of 113-110. Russell Westbrook was incredible and finished with 51 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. Westbrook matched Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with the first 50 point triple-double since 1975. Phoenix was led in scoring by TJ Warren who finished with 30 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals.
Besides Westbrook, Victor Oladipo was the only other Thunder player to finish in double-digit scoring with 21 points along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 44 minutes of play.
The problem for Oklahoma City this time out was the lack of bench production, who only scored 15 points total. The biggest problem on the bench bunch by far is swingman Kyle Singler, who finished with 4 points on 2-6 shooting and finished 0-4 from 3-point range. Singler still lives up to his title of being one of the worst players in the NBA and the Thunder should try to find ways to give less minutes to Singler as soon as possible.
After the thrilling overtime win over the Phoenix Suns the Thunder will next see the young Phoenix squad on December 17 in Oklahoma City.
Los Angeles Lakers
Sunday, 30 October 2016 at 07:00 PM ET Home
To wrap up the first week of the regular season the Oklahoma City Thunder played the Los Angeles Lakers at home and sealed the victory with a final score of 113-96. Russell Westbrook continued his MVP-campaign by racking up another triple-double with 33 points, 12 rebounds and 16 assists. Los Angeles were led in scoring by both D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle with 20 points each.
Victor Oladipo, Enes Kanter and Steven Adams all had big nights for the Thunder as well. Oladipo finished with 20 points and 4 assists, Kanter finished with 16 points and 6 rebounds off the bench and Adams finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and a sweet pass to Russell Westbrook:
(Quick moment of silence for Vine, RIP.)
Against Los Angeles the Thunder seemed to shore up their bench production problems as the bench finished with 38 points to Los Angeles's 32. While the defensive problems are still there things are looking to be heading into the right direction for Oklahoma City as they wrap up week one of their NBA campaign.
The next time the Thunder play the Los Angeles Lakers is on November 22 in Los Angeles.
With week one of the NBA regular season in the books the Oklahoma City Thunder prepare for their next week starting with the LA Clippers on Wednesday, November 2 in Los Angeles.