Thunder vs Bucks: Post game report

Thunder vs Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks had no real trouble beating the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night, beating them 130-110. Don’t fear Thunder fans, there were some positives vs the Bucks as well! We’ll break them down here — along with the not so positive. 

Luguentz Dort is the best shooter in NBA history

Ok, I’m kidding obviously. Dort had a great showing offensively tonight much like he did against the Rockets during Game 7 in 2020. Dort started the game going 4/4 from three, and finished 4-6 from three with 19 points on a total 7-11 from the field. Luguentz has vastly improved offensively since entering the NBA, and he still has more untapped potential — which to the rest of the NBA should be as terrifying as being chased by Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Chucky, and Leatherface all at the same time. 

Josh Giddey all around game

If you asked me what I expected a Josh Giddey statline to look like, I would say something close to what Giddey put up tonight. Josh struggled a little from the field going 3-9, but he did finish with nine points, six rebounds, and six assists. I definitely expect the rookie to get a triple double this season if he can stay healthy. 

Scary Pokusevski

We knew when the Thunder drafted Poku that development would take time. His performance on Sunday night has to give the fans and Oklahoma City front office cause for concern, however. Pokusevski posted two points on 1-6 from the field, and looked completely lost at times. This is not the time to give up on young Poku though, as he is still just that, very young. But this was in way a positive performance. 

Defense

We knew coming into the season the Thunder would struggle on defense at times. Milwaukee showed everyone just how bad it could possibly be / get. The Bucks went an astounding 54% from the field, and 54% from three. That is just brutal. Milwaukee scored 50 of their 130 points in the paint highlighting just how desperate the Thunder are for post length. Hopefully getting Derrick Favors back soon will remedy that if even little.

In closing

The Oklahoma City Thunder are what we thought they were. A young team that would struggle mightily on the defensive end but has potential to be very fun to watch on the offensive end (even though the final numbers say otherwise). The Thunder need to put this loss vs the Bucks behind them as they host the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night at 8 pm EST. A game I assume will be available to watch on the Thunder website.

Thunder vs Bucks: Preseason Preview

thunder vs bucks

The Oklahoma City Thunder will be back in action this coming Sunday as they travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for an intriguing matchup vs the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. 

The Thunder most likely will not have to play against the majority of the starting lineup that won the NBA Championship last year as the Bucks are choosing to be precautious with Giannis Antetokoumpo , Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis, Jrue Holiday, and Rodney Hood. Here are my projected starters for each respective team, and a preview of what to expect from Thunder vs Bucks. 

Bucks

Point guard- George Hill

Shooting guard- Grayson Allen 

Small forward- Jordan Nwora 

Power forward- Thanasis Antetokoumpo

Center- Brook Lopez

Thunder

Point guard- Shai Gilgeous Alexander

Shooting guard- Josh Giddey 

Small forward- Luguentz Dort

Power forward- Darius Bazley 

Center- Isaiah Roby

In their last game against the Hornets the Thunder had a difficult time scoring the ball, going 38% from the field, and 31% from three. I don’t believe they are that bad of an offensive team, so I do look for a bounce back game here. On the flip side, the Hornets went 49% from the field and 27% from three. Oklahoma City did a good job it seems on defending the perimeter, but struggled guarding in all other situations. As predicted, the Thunder were putrid in the paint on defense, giving up 62 of Charlotte’s 113 points in the paint. That will most likely carry over and be a huge storyline throughout  the season. 

And in their last game against the Memphis Grizzlies the Bucks struggled on the offensive end without their veteran leaders, going 41% from the field and 28% from three. This game on Sunday does have the potential to get ugly offensively. Oklahoma City would probably prefer for it to. On defense, Milwaukee gave up 46% from the field, and 31% from three to the Grizzlies.

As mentioned earlier, this has the potential to be an ugly game that could go down to the final buzzer. I do expect the Bucks to exploit the Thunder’s weakness in the paint, and I predict Milwaukee pulls off the win.

Oklahoma City Thunder 88 | Milwaukee Bucks 104

Charlotte Hornets vs Oklahoma City Thunder: Post game report

Charlotte Hornets vs Oklahoma City Thunder

The Charlotte Hornets got the best of a young Thunder team on Monday night in the Paycom Center. Here are some key takeaways from the Charlotte Hornets vs Oklahoma City Thunder.

Josh Giddey is the real deal- 

Look, I know it was only a preseason exhibition, but the way Giddey played with pace and let the game come to him was reminiscent of a veteran, not a rookie who has yet to play any regular season basketball. His ability to break down the defense and get to the rim in both the transition and half court game showed potential to be very effective in getting the Thunder some easy looks. He showed above average court vision with cross court skip passes, drop offs, etc. Giddey finished the game with 

The Thunder will be a fun team to watch-

Let me preface this by saying the Thunder aren’t likely to win many games this year. They are very young, and lack post depth. But the Thunder will be a fun team to watch. That much was evident in this game even during what technically was a blowout loss. Between Giddey in transition breaking ankles and dishing dimes, Lu Dort knocking down threes and posterizing defenders, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with his crafty shooting and finishing, the Thunder will have multiple opportunities to put together some highlight reels for years to come. Even in defeat, this will be a fun team. Mark my words. 

Long way to go-

As I briefly mentioned and referenced in the prior section of this “post game report” there is a long way to go until the Thunder are winning a lot of games and are competing for championships. They are young, and it shows. Aleksej Pokusevski still isn’t sure how to finish in the NBA and still makes some rookie mistakes on his passes. Josh Giddey still isn’t where he needs to be as far as shooting the ball, and the defense is pretty much nonexistent outside at times. But don’t fret, there’s still plenty of time for improvement. 

Other notes-

This was just the first of four preseason games for the Thunder, their next bout is this Sunday, October 10th at 7:30 pm ET, and will be televised on ESPN as the Thunder travel to Milwaukee to take on the defending champions the Milwaukee Bucks. We’ll see if any lessons were learned from the Charlotte Hornets vs Oklahoma City Thunder game.

OKC Thunder: Way too early NBA mock draft

We are merely 25 days from the writing of this from the NBA regular season opener for the Thunder in Utah against the Jazz, so, naturally it’s time to look forward to the 2022 NBA Draft.

 As it sits the Thunder currently have 5 possible picks in the 2022 Draft giving them many options on draft night. 

WITH THIS PICK IN THE NBA DRAFT, THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER SELECT PAOLO BANCHERO, FROM DUKE UNIVERSITY.

Banchero is a six foot ten inch incoming freshman power forward. He’s a strong athlete with very good mobility. Has nice fundamentals on his jumper, and is very skilled in getting the foul line and converting at the stripe. Very versatile defender, can guard almost anyone on the floor at any time. Very polished for his age. Will be a great player at Duke, and has high potential to be an NBA All Star.

WITH THIS PICK IN THE NBA DRAFT, THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER SELECT NIKOLA JOVIC, FROM SERBIA.

The Thunder once again go for young post depth, something they desperately lack and need. Jovic is another all around versatile player. He’s not shy when leading the break and creating fast break opportunities. In the modern NBA it is very important that every player on the court has the ability to put the ball on the floor and create and Jovic gives the Thunder another guy along with Poku and Banchero, all three who have no problem doing just that. 

WITH THIS PICK IN THE NBA DRAFT, THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER SELECT KENNEDY CHANDLER, FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE.

Chandler is arguably the best point guard in the draft, his speed along with his athleticism sets him apart in the fast break. Possesses a knack for setting up his teammates for easy shots, and has no trouble creating his own. Chandler could probably step on an NBA court now and not be a liability on either side of the ball. 

WITH THIS PICK IN THE NBA DRAFT, THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER SELECT OCHAI AGBAJI, FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS.

Agbaji would most likely be a “project” pick for the Thunder here. He has a very high motor, and is a very solid playmaker. Just needs to be more consistent in many facets. 

WITH THIS PICK IN THE NBA DRAFT, THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER SELECT JOHNNY JUZANG, FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES.

Juzang is a former Kentucky Wildcat who transferred after his freshman season to find a more prominent role, and find one he did. Juzang was the leader of a Final Four UCLA team that would’ve made the championship game if it weren’t for late game heroics from Jalen Suggs. He’s an all around scorer and would be another shooter on the wings for the Thunder.

OKC Thunder: The top five must see matchups.

The 2021-2022 NBA Season is guaranteed to be one with some amazing basketball being played, with so many storylines and questions for many teams. For the Thunder, has Shai Gilgeous Alexander hit his ceiling? Was Josh Giddey the correct pick? Is Luguentz Dort an All NBA defender?  Those questions will all be answered in 82 games this season for the Thunder. These are the five biggest games for the Thunder this year in my opinion.

#5- Thursday, October 20th, Vs The Utah Jazz.

This game had to make the top five simply because it’s the regular season opener for the Thunder. It will definitely be a tall task to ask the Thunder to come out of this game with a win, they will have to hold off Donovan Mitchell who for his career has averaged 23.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assist in 12 games vs the Thunder. For the Thunder, it will be Derrick Favors first game back in Utah since being traded to the Thunder. 

#4- Sunday, November 4th, Vs The Brooklyn Nets.

This will be Kevin Durant’s 11th game against the Thunder since leaving for the Golden State Warriors, he has averaged 31.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.0 assist. The Thunder would have to execute a near perfect game to pull off the upset. Look for Shai Gilgeous Alexander to have a stellar game in this one, as he usually plays up to his competition, and the competition in this one is definitely elite. 

#3- Friday, November 19th, @ The Milwaukee Bucks.

Anytime you play the defending champions it should be considered a “big game”. With the Thunder’s lack of size it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Giannis Antetokounmpo have a big game. He has averaged 22.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in his 15 games against the Thunder. 

#2- Monday, November 1st, @ The Los Angeles Clippers.

The Thunder and Clippers have had some pretty exciting games in the past, in this one OKC will travel to face former Thunder player Paul George as he attempts to lead the Clippers without Kawhi Leonard who will miss some if not all of the season this year. For his career George has averaged 18.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.3 assists in his 15 games against the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous Alexander will most likely be looking to make a statement against his former team, and make them pay for trading him. 

#1- Wednesday, October 27th, Vs The Los Angeles Lakers.

This should be a fun one, as the Thunder welcome Russell Westbrook back to OKC  with the Lakers, and their old friend (sarcasm, of course.) Lebron James. For his career Westbrook has averaged 27.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 10.8 assists in his five games against the Thunder. Meanwhile James has averaged 28.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in his astonishing 33 games against the Thunder. It will be interesting to see how LA is welcomed in the Paycom Center, has the Westbrook nostalgia worn off? How will the new look Lakers perform? This is probably the game I look forward to the most, hence it being the number one game on this list. 

Sound off on Twitter @Thunder_ATB and let me know what game you are looking forward to the most. Thunder Up!