The Thunder offense struggled on opening night, scoring less than a point per possession (96.2 per 100 possessions, to be specific). While the Thunder got out and ran a decent amount, 18.6 percent of their possessions started in transition, they scored just 0.88 points per possession on those chances (stats via Cleaning the Glass). On spot-up jump shots, they shot scored just 0.67 points per possession (via Synergy Sports) and they shot 27.8 percent from three in the part of the game that mattered.
How much of that was the Thunder offense missing their engine in Russell Westbrook, and how much of that was going against the solid defense and length of the Golden State Warriors?
We may find out Friday night because Westbrook is out again, still recovering from arthroscopic surgery on right knee back on Sept. 12. Royce Young of ESPN broke the news.
That means again most of the offense will flow through Paul George, which worked reasonably well but he needs more help from other players. The Clippers’ defense was fairly good opening night, and they played Denver close, but couldn’t score enough and lost a lead down the stretch, dropping their season opener.
What really matters is this gives us another chance to watch Westbrook try to sneak-snack on the bench.