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#1 Tensai

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 04:48 AM

I remember back in 2009/10 season when Thunder had their breakout year, Ibaka was coming off the bench and they had Jeff Green. Harden was also coming off the bench. So the 2 spots at SG and C were reserved for (relatively) veteran players and the scoring load was carried by Westbrook, Durant and Green. Harden was great coming off the bench. but both Ibaka and Harden were rookies.

 

I checked how they fared in that year with respect to league. They, of course, won 50 games and made the playoffs as 8th seed. But they were 12th in offensive rating, and 9th in defensive rating. They were a very good offensive rebounding team (3rd) but an average one on defensive boards (17). The pace they played at the time was ranked 12th.

 

A young talented group. A different animal than our team. For one thing, we don't have that generational player like Durant although we can more or less approximate the rest. One thing that is interesting to see with that group is that Durant, Westbrook, Sefolosha and Green all played 82 games. Krstic, Harden Collison played 75+ games. That is one healthy season. The standard that they caught that season, I believe, pushed that group to next level. Before they faced us on December 22, 2009 they had a record of 13-13. And they lost against us on that game. Just what you would expect from a team that only won 23 games the year before that. Does it sound familiar? So how did they manage to go 37-18 the rest of the season? Well, they had 5 game winning streak to close out the year. Then, they had a 9 game winning streak in Feb, and 5 game winning streak in the following month. They must have figured it out somehow? But how?

 

I searched the articles from their winning streaks.

 

http://newsok.com/article/3438644

http://usatoday30.us...s-thunder_N.htm

 

To summarize:

 

They bought into playing defense, and more importantly bringing that energy on the road games. It is kind of obvious, isn't it? You only play 41 home games. If you want to win 45+ and make playoffs, you have to win some road games even if you go undefeated at your own turf.

 

So that became their standard. Playing hard, and playing harder on the road. I don't think teams can only win with a 30ppg scorer on their team. If you have one, that would be nice. But teams like Jazz are grinding out wins more than they let it get away.

 

Heading into season, and after starting 10-10, how come we couldn't establish a standard?

 

Q. Would trying hard and winning hinder the player development?

-> If not, what kept the players from trying hard?

Q. Was the narrative that this is a young group an obstacle on the way to bringing the energy every night?

-> If the narrative is at fault, should we do something about it and stop turning it an excuse?

Q. If the injuries are somewhat the reason for stagnation, how does it explain the multiple 30+ point blowouts at squad full healthy?

Q. Do you think the coaching needs to adjust to players just as the players need to adjust to coaching?

-> If so, heading into next season what should be the standard for the coaches?

Q. When things go south, the first thing that comes out of people's mouth is the lack of leadership. Is leadership that important to winning or is it a blanket statement?

-> When you think about NCAA teams with full of freshmen, doesn't the coach provide leadership?

Q. As the pillars of the rebuilding, what was the standard we expected from Randle, Russell, Ingram coming off the college and why do you think the Lakers drafted them?

-> If they did not reach their standard, what should be the plan?


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#2 DanishLakerFan

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 05:40 AM

You are being very unfair, imo.

 

Just because they won 50 games in Durant's 3rd season doesn't mean we should be able to do the same because it's a completely different situation.

 

If we ignore the tiny discrepancy in talent between "Randle, Russell, Ingram" vs. "Durant, Harden, Westbrook, Ibaka", i think there are a few other factors that can explain why we aren't winning 50 this season.

 

We drafted Randle in 2014 and he started his career by sitting out his entire rookie campaign with an injury. 

Then we drafted Russell but in his rookie season he and Randle had the worst coach in the league in Byron and was forced to watch the Kobe jack up 20 shots per game.

Ingram and Russell came into the league as 19 y/o one-and-dones, whereas Westbrook and Harden played two years in college.

 

I dont expect us to win 50 next season either, but if some of these guys are hits and they follow a normal development curve, then we could be winning 50 in the 2018/19 season.



#3 Tensai

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 05:51 AM

Maybe I didn't make myself clear in the first post. Win-loss isn't my argument. My point was, how come after 60 something games we don't have a standard to judge this team/players against? Or if we have it, why is it so low that the term "development" is thrown into every single discussion we are having?


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#4 LACAS

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 06:27 AM

Perhaps the kids arent as good as we thought and had hoped? Or perhaps the kids are more raw than we had thought? 



#5 Tensai

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 06:41 AM

"Raw" may be the right word to explain it. Three Top 7 picks, coming out of their freshman year with little to no competitive basketball experience.

 

What I wonder, though, at which point did the FO think it would be best to draft all offensive players, and no emphasis on defense? After all starting from 10/11 season our main problem was defense. (Hence the Mike Brown hire, you can throw Byron Scott in there too)


Edited by Tensai, March 06, 2017 - 06:42 AM.

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#6 DanishLakerFan

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 07:37 AM

"Raw" may be the right word to explain it. Three Top 7 picks, coming out of their freshman year with little to no competitive basketball experience.

 

What I wonder, though, at which point did the FO think it would be best to draft all offensive players, and no emphasis on defense? After all starting from 10/11 season our main problem was defense. (Hence the Mike Brown hire, you can throw Byron Scott in there too)

Randle at #7 was the best pick given what we needed at the time.

Russell and Ingram both were BPA at #2 and Russell was projected to be decent defensively given his size adn Ingram was projected to be a great defender.

 

Not sure why we need to hold these guys to a higher standard than everyone else from their respective rookie classes. We complain if Russell doesn't shoot enough and we complain if he shoots too much. Just let him [expletive]ing lean the ropes of the nba.

 

One thing: we could use a pshycho-competitor like Marcus Smart or similar to create some on-court energy, because we kinda lack that. But overall, the guys are on the right track.



#7 kidpolean

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 08:11 AM

I'm not sure what you're even trying to say here
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#8 LACAS

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 09:33 AM

Im personally not trying to say much or anything worth reading into... 

 

I like Russell, Ingram, Nance and Zu, I believe we took the BPA, however these kids are extremely RAW (-Nance). The problem is they were far from NBA ready, still arent ready and who knows when they'll be ready. Which leads me to the following; Im an advocate of an age ban, kids are simply rushing to the NBA while still going through puberty, some of these kids voices are still cracking. I would like to see a 2-year NCCA requirement or 21 years of age minimum. This way we are giving their bodies and minds a chance to mature, this would also provide a bigger sample to properly analyze players. 

 

As for Randle its simply a matter of fit and playing style that Im not a fan of, nothing personal, seems like a good guy.

 

I know the majority of folks here are all about allowing the kids to develop which I do not oppose however IMHO I truly feel we need a young proven stud to guide and lead these kids a' la Paul George; a player like PG is vital to the growth of the kids; losing at this pace and fashion is counterproductive and does very little for their development. (PG was simply used as an example)


Edited by LACAS, March 06, 2017 - 10:21 AM.


#9 DaSmoothOperator

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 10:28 AM

The league has too many inexperienced players drafted high but can't deliver for some time which most teams won't have to wait and see the development. Would Cavs been better w/o Love deal ? There has been some improvement this year but it hasn't translated into wins yet. Need a AAA level to bring players along D league isn't getting it or rookie camp for fundamentals yes the things we all hoped they had coming in but sadly don't have. The responsibility is on each individual player to be professional and seek to improve. Not accept getting beaten over and over by the same issues. Gotta draw a line in the sand and no more unguarded perimeter shots or lack of effort for loose balls or getting back in transition. I agree they are too raw in many areas.

#10 kidpolean

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 10:36 AM

I don't think any of our young guys are "raw." Ingram simply lacks agressivness, confidence, and a defined role. His offensive game is more polished than a lot of vets. Randle certainly isn't raw either, he just has fit issues. I'm not sure how anyone considers Russell raw either.

I think that "raw" is not the word to describe this group. A lot of what's going on is Luke's fault imo. I know he is trying to run an offense where everyone gets involved and pieces are interchangeable but for the sake of development, you have to make it known who our leaders are. I feel like Russell wants to be that leader but he's not really given the chance. Ingram and Randle both seem to have no clue what their roles are on this team.

#11 Tensai

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 05:36 PM

If you listen to Luke every post game, he is still stressing fundamentals and bringing energy. That is what I find odd. You would think after 3/4 of the season is over, at least that would be on the books. Whatever the kids' problem is, they are at odds with Luke. I don't think the coaching unit is moving the needle for them. They are all great individual talents, but a lesser team than the summation of its parts. Again, I don't expect them to win games, but this team (with coaches) as a whole doesn't give much hope for the next season whether you add Superstar potential A or Superstar potential B from the draft.


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#12 BasketballIQ

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 05:58 PM

I disagree.

It's not effort, it's efficiency

#13 reryo

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 06:26 PM

Too many differences in variables. 

 

The Thunder thrived in a older, slower, less athletic league (top teams were Lakers/Celtics/Spurs) and had a dramatically different front office/coaching situation. In addition, the expectations were different - the Thunder were fully committed to growing with that core of Durant/Westbrook/Harden/Ibaka. For the Lakers, there is a sense of urgency to "rise back to the top", which places additional pressure on the players as well as management to make homerun trades and signings.  


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#14 BasketballIQ

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 06:31 PM

Too many differences in variables.

The Thunder thrived in a older, slower, less athletic league (top teams were Lakers/Celtics/Spurs) and had a dramatically different front office/coaching situation. In addition, the expectations were different - the Thunder were fully committed to growing with that core of Durant/Westbrook/Harden/Ibaka. For the Lakers, there is a sense of urgency to "rise back to the top", which places additional pressure on the players as well as management to make homerun trades and signings.



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#15 Tensai

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 06:34 PM

Too many differences in variables. 

 

The Thunder thrived in a older, slower, less athletic league (top teams were Lakers/Celtics/Spurs) and had a dramatically different front office/coaching situation. In addition, the expectations were different - the Thunder were fully committed to growing with that core of Durant/Westbrook/Harden/Ibaka. For the Lakers, there is a sense of urgency to "rise back to the top", which places additional pressure on the players as well as management to make homerun trades and signings.  

 

I get what you are saying, it has nothing to do with playing defense and trying hard though.


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#16 fido

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 07:51 PM

A large portion of it is effort.  Even Russell, the king of inconsistent and often missing effort said as much.



#17 BasketballIQ

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Posted March 06, 2017 - 09:12 PM

The king of inconsistent. He's amongst the most consistent young guards.


What as you talking about?

#18 DaSmoothOperator

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Posted March 07, 2017 - 03:38 PM

Does anyone think Defense needs to be addressed? That's my main concern. everyone gets career highs nope not gonna have it. 


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#19 fido

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Posted March 07, 2017 - 06:42 PM

"What as you talking about?"

 

Yes, consistently inconsistent and lackadaisical.

 

Also, don't sideswipe the issue.  What I'm saying is that Russell himself (which is ironic) said the team has a lack of effort.



#20 Tensai

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Posted March 07, 2017 - 06:56 PM

Season | Off Rtg | Def Rtg

2010/11 |   6th     |   6th

2011/12 |  10th    |  13th

2012/13 |   9th     |  20th

2013/14 |  21th    |  28th

2014/15 |  24th    |  29th

2015/16 |  29th    |  30th

2016/17 |  26th    |  29th

 

 

Not sure if I can stomach another season with horrendous defense.


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