The Oklahoma City Thunder Weather Report 12.01.10

Pat DeCola@Pat_DeColaCorrespondent IDecember 1, 2010

The Oklahoma City Thunder Weather Report 12.01.10

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    Well here it is, folks. 

    About a month and a half tardy to the party and without any of the French onion dip it promised to bring. 

    Oh well, there’s something to be said for being fashionably late. 

    What we have here is “The Weather Report” – your one stop-shopping location for everything you need to know about the Thunder. 

    And it’s once a week, so for all you casual fans, I’ve got your back. 

    Featured will be “Which Way the Wind Blows”, showcasing the movement in the standings for these young Thunder, “Loudest Performance of the Week”, an award given to the week’s best performance by a Thunder player, “Climate Control”, an area of the game that Coach Scott Brooks needs to work on with his men, “Dew Point”, a relevant and interesting statistic of the week, and “Your Weekly Forecast”, a look at the week ahead for the team. 

    Enjoy, and support your local weatherman.

Which Way the Wind Blows

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    WESTERN                 W            L          PCT      GB       +/-

    1          San Antonio      14         2          .875      -            -

    2          LA Lakers         13         4          .765      1.5         -

    3          Dallas               13         4          .765      1.5         -

    4          Utah                  14         5          .737      1.5          -

    5          New Orleans      12        5          .706      2.5          -

    6          Oklahoma City   12        6          .667       3            -

    7          Denver               10        6          .625       4            -

    8          Portland              8         9          .471      6.5          -



    NORTHWEST               W         L          PCT      GB       +/-

    1          Utah                 14         5          .737        -           -

    2          Oklahoma City  12         6          .667      1.5          -

    3          Denver      10         6          .625       2.5         -

    4          Portland            8          9          .471        5           -

    5          Minnesota         4         13         .235        9            -

Loudest Performance of the Week

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    Russell Westbrook,

    • 11/26 vs. Pacers
      • 110-106 OT win
      • 43 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 17/18 FT, 0 fouls

    "Russell Westbrook was very good tonight," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said after the overtime loss. "We tried different matchups. He was just too much. We didn't have what it takes to stop him. He's quickly becoming one of the better guards in the league. He's so fast and explosive."

    Big things were expected of Westbrook heading into this season. We know this. What we didn’t know is that he would exceed all of our expectations within such a short amount of time.

    The main draw to Kevin Durant heading into the 2007 draft was the unlimited potential he exhibited. Over and over the words “no ceiling” were tied with the freshman forward coming out of Texas.

    Westbrook, while obviously highly regarded as a top prospect (he was taken at #4 overall by the Sonics) never had the same kind of mysterious hype that Durant did.

    We knew he was going to be good and that was that. We were content and satisfied with what we thought he would bring to the table.

    But after his scorching start to the 2010-2011 season, with the 11/26 performance a prime example, he has expedited his reputation all the way to the front of the class of young point guards to the Paul/Williams/Rondo category where the sky is the limit.

    And he just turned 22 earlier this month.

Climate Control

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    Well unfortunately Westbrook can’t do it all and despite his 8.6 assists per game, the Thunder need to improve on their passing game.

     Ranked a lousy 29th in the league in assists at 18.22 per game, Oklahoma City needs to regain the rhythm that it looked to be developing late last year. While not a huge difference, the Thunder averaged 19.987 apg last season, which would be good for 21st in the league this year.

     The top two teams in the league? Boston and Utah. Think about it.

     But Kevin Durant does need to work on getting his teammates involved more. After averaging 2.8 per game last season, he’s stuck on that number again, all while scoring less points. The Jordan comparisons are always going to arise when a player of his caliber hovers around 30 points per game, but MJ averaged 4.8 apg throughout his career, even finishing one season as high as 7.2.

     Durant has yet to record more than five dimes this season, a feat he has only accomplished twice.

Dew Point

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    Might as well keep the Jordan parallels coming, especially since the potential successor debate has clearly been trimmed down to one.

    Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are averaging 23.8 and 27.3 points per game, respectively. Combined, the number is 51.1, good for the best in the league. However, this Dew Point goes a little deeper than that.

    In 1991-92, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, arguably the greatest duo of all time, averaged a combined 52.5 ppg, the highest mark ever posted by the two.

    Jordan topped 40 points 11 times that season, while Pippen did it just once on Feb 28, 1992.

    Durant has yet to do it this season, but you know the 40-point games are coming, after he managed eight of them last year alone at the age of 21.

    But Westbrook has one already with plenty more left in the tank.

    Keep an eye out for the mind-blowing numbers that these two put up. When all is said and done at the end of the regular season in April, Durant and Westbrook could have a higher combined ppg than the “Holy Duo” ever dreamed possible.

Your Weekly Forecast

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    Wed, Dec 1           @New Jersey       7:00 PM


    Fri, Dec 3               @Toronto              7:00 PM


    Sun, Dec 5            vsGolden State    7:00 PM               


    Mon, Dec 6           @Chicago             8:00 PM