Offense better than ever, defense trending down under Donovan
In Billy Donovan’s first season at the helm the Thunder has averaged 110.2 points per game, an OKC franchise record and the second-highest in the NBA. The team also gives up 102.9 per game, its worst defensive effort since the inaugural 2008-09 season.
Here’s a look at how the Thunder has finished each season in scoring and points allowed.
2015-16 – 110.2 (2nd), 102.9 (15th)
2014-15 – 104.0 (5th), 101.8 (24th)
2013-14 – 106.2 (5th), 99.8 (12th)
2012-13 – 105.7 (3rd), 96.5 (9th)
2011-12 – 103.1 (3rd), 96.9 (17th)
2010-11 – 104.8 (5th), 101.0 (18th)
2009-10 – 101.5 (14th), 98.0 (11th)
2008-09 – 97.0 (24th), 103.1 (23rd)
Kevin Durant likely to be left off All-NBA First Team
There’s only one sure-fire, lock-it-down, write-it-in-ink player that will be on the First Team: Steph Curry. After that, Kawhi Leonard and Russell Westbrook are pretty sure bets to make it and the center position will likely come down to DeMarcus Cousins and Draymond Green. That leaves one forward spot between Durant and LeBron James. Durant finished third in the league in scoring at 28.2 per game to go with a career-best 8.2 rebounds per game and 5.0 assists. In the 72 games he played this season the Thunder went 52-20. LeBron averaged 25.3 points, 7.4 rebounds plus 6.8 assists and helped the Cavs to a 56-20 record when he played. The problem is LeBron won both head-to-head matchups with Durant this season.
About the first round matchup with Dallas
Oklahoma City owns a 22-16 all-time record against the Mavericks including a 4-0 record this season. The last time the Thunder faced the Mavs in a playoff series it was a clean 4-0 sweep in 2012. In the 2011 playoffs Dallas dispatched OKC 4-1. Oklahoma City has won four-of-five playoff openers; its only loss in 2010 to the future-NBA champs Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers.