All Forums > SimLeague Basketball > NBA > Oklahoma City Thunder: 2 Seed Likely
4/25/2012 9:10 AM
Meh, Durant is assisted on < 50% of his shots; he doesn't need a great PG.  And Harden's an above average playmaker at SG, anyway.  Westbrook has his flaws but he's overall good and unless they can get Chris Paul they have no prayer on upgrading him, so they may as well just keep him and be happy with it.
4/25/2012 7:02 PM
He doesn't need a great PG but imagine if he had one that liked to pass the ball instead of one with a usage flirting with Jordan's (but far less efficiency).  Even an average offensive PG would be an improvement in my eyes.
4/25/2012 7:26 PM
I don't understand why people hate on Russell Westbrook. The dude turns the ball over some (okay, more than he should) but he is on the threshold of being a superstar. Don't be surprised to see him carry the Thunder at times when Durant is off.
4/25/2012 8:08 PM (edited)
Rk Player Age G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ? ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
1 Russell Westbrook 23 65 2296 22.6 .537 .480 5.1 9.3 7.3 29.5 2.4 0.5 14.3 32.7 108 105 5.2 2.4 7.6 .159
2 Kevin Durant 23 65 2506 26.2 .609 .546 1.9 20.5 11.9 17.5 1.8 2.2 14.0 31.3 114 101 8.3 3.8 12.1 .231
3 James Harden 22 62 1946 21.1 .660 .582 1.9 12.2 7.4 19.3 1.6 0.6 14.8 21.6 125 105 7.5 1.9 9.4 .231


Westbrook vs Durant vs Harden

48% efg%, 14.3% tov%, 32.7% usage, 53.7% ts%
vs
54.6% efg%, 14% tov%, 31.3% usage, 60.9% ts%
vs
58.2% efg%, 14.8% tov%, 21.6% usage, 66.0% ts%

The least efficient of the big 3 is the one that takes most of the possessions (and it's not like a true point guard where he has a ton of assists that isn't reflected in the usage column... and his ast numbers aren't much higher than either Durant or Harden's).  That's my beef with him.  And this year has been a tremendous improvement... which makes it even more sad.




4/25/2012 8:17 PM
53.7 TS is still really ******* good for 32.7 usg.
4/25/2012 8:34 PM
like that doesn't establish that they need to move on from him at all.  even if both harden + durant are better, if RWB takes fewer shots and has a high TS, they are going to have to take more shots and have a lower TS.  for all you know that's the optimal distribution of shots among the trio to maximize their collective TS. 

fwiw i do think harden is better + more important but rwb is still having an excellent year.  the fact that he often shares the court with 2 hyperefficient volume scorers shouldn't detract from that.
4/26/2012 12:35 AM
He is having an excellent year, but I don't really consider 53.7% ts% all that special, especially when you're on the court with two guys that do 60+.  Yes, he is a good guard in this league.  I just think he's the wrong guy to have with Durant - especially with how Harden has come along.  I'd like to see his usage in the 20-25 range (with less turnovers), but that just won't happen because the guy doesn't have the head for it, so I think they'd be better off with a point guard with a different mentality.  It doesn't matter, though, since I have no control over the situation.

And, again, it also comes down to when those shots and turnovers happen.  Let's see what happens at the end of the fourth quarter in tight playoff games.  Is he the RWB of last year?  Or does he actually give the ball to someone who can shoot much, much better than him to take those important shots?  I don't think he will.  I think he thinks he's Allen Iverson (only better).
4/26/2012 9:44 AM
Allen Iverson career 31.8 usg 51.8% TS.  Maybe RWB is better.

53.7% TS is probably right at league average-  a high usage player with average TS is a big positive on offense.  This is because it allows you to play defensive specalists like Perk and Sefolosha and not have their complete and utter ineptness on offense rape you.  The part with expecting him to shoot better because his teammate shot high %'s makes no sense.

You realize that if he takes less shots, his teammates need to take more shots and their respective TS's drop and TOV's rise, right?  You seem to not grasp this.

Other than that, sure there are other guards who would have better synergy with Durant.  But their synergy isn't terrible- I mean outside of their Big 3 pretty much everybody else on the team is incompetent on offense.  Ibaka is passable and everybody else is terrible.

So I mean like, other than CP + Rose who else makes them better?  Deron prob.  Kyrie in due time, but not yet.  Maybe Nash (not for long tho), maybe Lowry, maybe Parker (also not for long).  I don't think any of them would be big upgrades and unless I'm forgetting somebody, anybody else makes them way worse.
4/26/2012 9:47 AM
James Harden is my favorite player. His twitter picture is my background on my computer 
4/26/2012 10:48 AM
Posted by caesari on 4/26/2012 9:47:00 AM (view original):
James Harden is my favorite player. His twitter picture is my background on my computer 
Aww how sweet
4/26/2012 1:24 PM
You realize that if he takes less shots, his teammates need to take more shots and their respective TS's drop and TOV's rise, right?  You seem to not grasp this.

No, I actually do grasp this concept, but it's not as extreme as you make it out to be.  But if Harden is taking another 3-5% of the shots, there's no reason to expect his TS to go down 13%.  And if Durant's usage goes up a couple of percentage points, there's no reason to expect his TS to go down at all.  The key ingredient in all of this that seems to elude you is that both of these guys are much, much better shooters than Westbrook.  Also, a key component of usage is turnovers.  Westbrook turns the ball over less and suddenly, his usage goes down a bit, too.  So, if he kicks the ball out to an open guy on the wing/corner 3 more when he drives, his usage goes down, assists go up, TS% goes up AND I bet some of the role players' fg% goes up.  Some of those guys aren't exactly Steve Kerr but they can hit an open shot (they're not exactly Rondo, either).  Sefo has a 53% efg% (shoots over 40% from beyond 3) & Cook is a former 3-point shootout winner.  These guys can make open jumpshots and are much more likely to than RWB to make a layup with 2 7-footers converging on him as well as his own defender.

The part with expecting him to shoot better because his teammate shot high %'s makes no sense.
I don't expect him to shoot better because his teammates shoot high %s.  That would be idiotic.  I expect him to shoot less.  When you drive the lane and 3 guys converge on you, kick it out.  Don't try and force up a lay-up that has no shot at going in.  You're not Dwyane Wade; the refs are not going to bail you out (yet).

Bottom line:  There aren't a whole lot of guys out there that are better scorers in the NBA than RWB.  Ideally, you'd surround Durant (and Harden) with a younger PG who can shoot as well as create for others (like Ty Lawson, maybe) and replace Perkins with a big man who can give you some easy points by scoring in the post.  The first exists.  The second... not so much.  Those guys are so rare these days that OKC will likely never have the opportunity to draft one and are positioned geographically to not be a hugely desired landing spot for FAs.  But since the likelihood of replacing RWB with that combination is next to nill, the next best thing would be for him to shoot less and turn the ball over less.  Seriously, kicking the ball out 2 to 4 more times a game would increase efficiency all around.  His usage would drop, his missed shots (mostly blocks) would drop, his role players would get an extra shot or two.

The real bottom line:  I'm not OKC's coach or GM and neither are you, so none of our opinions mean diddly squat in the long run.  It just pains me every time I see him having a 2-for-17 night and see him keep doing the same thing over and over when he has two other excellent offensive options available as well as a few guys that can hit a shot.
4/26/2012 1:43 PM (edited)
if harden increases his usg by 1 and his TS drops by 0.5, and westbrook decreases his usg by 1 and his TS increases by 0.5, are the thunder a more efficient team?

i mean yeah rwb's shot selection could be better, but overall his offensive game is +EV and by creating a bunch of shots with average efficiency, he enables Durant and Harden (as well as Ibaka/Perk/Thabo/Cook/etc) to shoulder a scoring load where they shoot very efficienty.
4/26/2012 1:41 PM
Posted by malone9975 on 4/26/2012 10:48:00 AM (view original):
Posted by caesari on 4/26/2012 9:47:00 AM (view original):
James Harden is my favorite player. His twitter picture is my background on my computer 
Aww how sweet
I'm such a sucker for a beard.
4/26/2012 1:48 PM
Posted by deanod on 4/26/2012 1:43:00 PM (view original):
if harden increases his usg by 1 and his TS drops by 0.5, and westbrook decreases his usg by 1 and his TS increases by 0.5, are the thunder a more efficient team?

i mean yeah rwb's shot selection could be better, but overall his offensive game is +EV and by creating a bunch of shots with average efficiency, he enables Durant and Harden (as well as Ibaka/Perk/Thabo/Cook/etc) to shoulder a scoring load where they shoot very efficienty.
That's why I said what I said initially:

Let's see what happens in a tight playoff series where he's struggling and it's crunch time.  Will he do the right thing and dish to someone who isn't sucking shooting the ball or will he force something up?

Until he shows otherwise, I'm sticking by my position that he shoots too much when he shouldn't.  Take all of the regular season games where he did well against the Cavs & Hornets of the world and throw them out of the equation.  I want to see what he does in an elimination game, fourth quarter, down (or up) by 2.  I've seen what he did last year.  Let's see who he is now.  Right now I see a guy who has a higher usg% with a much lower efg% than probably the 2nd or 3rd best player in the league... on the same team.

[edit] I'll be proud to eat my words if he shows he's matured.

I also said this after the Thunder let the Lakers come back on them from what should have been a done deal.  Way too many stupid turnovers and forced shots when the game should have been out of reach.  You do this in the playoffs and... well... you watch Dirk & Kidd don their first ring.
4/26/2012 2:33 PM

a big part of that comeback was because Westbrook was busy trying to take Bean on 1 on 1 and shooting 3 of 22 while doing it - Durant in iso wasnt going so well for them either as it took him 34 shots to get his points

I do think a pass first guy who could still score when needed would be better for balance but the other thing you have going against the Thunder is that they dont really have an inside game on offense - defensively they're solid inside but on offense? not so much

I think that could hurt them in the playoffs against a team like the Spurs or the Grizzlies

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