View Full Version : Where has the defense gone in OKC? Thoughts on Kanter's role

03-22-2015, 04:18 PM
Read a tweet about how badly they've played on that end for the past few weeks.
Injuries have wrecked their season but that doesn't explain how they've spiraled down the defensive standings. Regardless of which star was available (save for maybe Ibaka) you could always count on the Thunder throwing out long, versatile athletes that would give full effort on D.

Since they acquired Kanter, the D has completely fallen apart, mostly with him on the court. Hate to put all the blame on the guy but its pretty telling that both the team he joined and left began to see drastic improvement/decline on that end. The offense has improved with him on the court, so if we buy into the argument that hes influencing the team to this degree, hes essentially a .500 player. Which is by definition, average, only that goes against alot of the Kanter love thats been going around.

So I got to thinking of how we look at bigmen. Hes averaging a robust 16-10 in 30MPG so hes been crazy efficient. But the team hasn't really improved.
I know its early and the team hasn't meshed yet but its hard to imagine Kanter keeping up this production so the improvement will have to come from a team aspect, particularly on D.

I think Brooks is really making a mistake by not starting Morrow and keeping him alongside WB+Roberson+Ibaka. His lineups need more balance IMO. KD or not.

03-22-2015, 04:24 PM
OKC is 2nd to only GS in opponents FG% and is first in the NBA in rebounds per game. They play at a very fast pace and it makes it look like their defense is worse. The past few weeks has been mostly because of missing Ibaka.

Westbrook, Roberson, Waiters are all + defenders. Westbrook has actually been playing poor defense and I assume it's due to energy conservation as a result of having to do literally everything on offense.

03-22-2015, 04:31 PM
Kanter isn't a good defender. This isn't news.

I agree they should be starting Morrow though.

03-22-2015, 04:35 PM
Kanter and guys like him really kill your team by being so bad at the most important end for bigs. Fortunately Ibaka is the perfect PF for him, and a perpetually underrated player. He and Roberson are the only defenders that are consistently good. Westbrook's over helping kills the scheme as often as not, and he's not great at navigating screens due to low IQ. Adams is just dirty like Perkins, and most of the good things he does is on the glass.

PPG is a dumb way to evaluate role players, because points are replaceable for the most part. This isn't true for elite scorers but look at what a coach like Thibs gets out of scoring guard castoffs. OKC has no title shot without both Durant and Ibaka. They can overcome the loss of Westbrook with their newfound depth.

03-22-2015, 06:14 PM
All I know is I want to see this roster fully healthy next season. They finally have an interior scorer :laugh2:, if he chooses to resign.

As someone said, it might be because Westbrook is focusing on keeping the team on the offensive pace so much, that his defense is lagging a little bit. Since Durant went down a second time, his defensive rating is 106, which is a couple baskets higher than his usual stat. If guys are getting by Westbrook more, leads to the interior having to basically risk it all to defend the incoming potential score. Kanter isn't exactly a defensive anchor.... Also doesn't help that Ibaka, who's a pretty good defender (I've called him overrated before, but he's still pretty good lol) is done for the year pretty much too.

Gonna be a lot of high scoring games coming up. This one VS Miami is probably gonna be the last one where we see both teams in the OKC game score less than 100 :laugh2:

03-22-2015, 06:57 PM
The three players they acquired in trade; Kanter, Augustine, and Singler are all poor defenders.

03-22-2015, 09:38 PM
i think another role is Westbrook's hyper aggressiveness without other offensive options. that kind of out of the control play does not lead to you playing with a set defense after misses

03-24-2015, 01:31 PM
I guess they only care about getting into the playoffs because there is no way they can win a championship with the way they're defending.

03-24-2015, 01:39 PM
It's hard to play d when rw is almost obtaining a quadruple double when you factor in turnovers