1. More Ball Movement
I’ve previously been critical of the Thunder for going to spots on the floor and standing around while watching someone play 1 on 1. These kind of plays were usually isolations for Durant or Westbrook or an alignment where someone posted up and kicked out for an outside shot when the double team came. On the play above, Westbrook dives in to the hoop. I like these aggressive, attack-the-hoop, kind of plays for the Thunder.
2. Better Defense in Screen Situations
Watch Westbrook above. He’s in the middle of the lane to start, and he’s chasing Curry. Thompson is setting a down screen for Curry, and Westbrook reads the pass and makes an incredible steal.
Go ahead and say it, Russell: “Eat it, Torg!” I’ve written previously that Westbrook so frantically chases the ball that he can’t keep track of his man. On the play above, Westbrook shows a lot of awareness of a lot of different things going on. He keeps track of the ball, the screener, and his man.
If I had ten seconds with the Warriors, I’d encourage the players to use ball fakes, especially when Westbrook is guarding a screener or cutter. A hard ball fake to Thompson here leaves Curry wide open for a three.
3. Intensity (duh, but check out this rebound)
Westbrook’s offensive rebound here exemplifies the intensity the Thunder brought to Sunday night’s game.
4. Props to Steven Adams
Adams usually does a good job of getting out on shooters, and he has been the victim of shots he has contested well but Curry or Thompson still manages to make. This time, he blocks Curry’s shot.