Thunder At A Glance – 04 March 2019

img_4063Brett Dawson (The Athletic) on Russell Westbrook’s late game heroics last night: “He’s done it less this season, both because George has done so much of the heavy lifting and because the shots he made so often that season have been so hard to come by. The Grizzlies were the latest team to pack the paint against the Thunder, to dare Westbrook to launch from long range.”

Maddie Lee (NewsOK) recaps the Grizzlies game: “Russell Westbrook pump-faked and eyed the basket from the left wing. “No!” a fan yelled. The same fan had dissuaded him from shooting his last 3-point shot, which he missed with two minutes on the clock. Yet again, Westbrook ignored his advice. This time, Westbrook drained the 3-pointer to tie the game.”

Cliff Brunt (Associated Press) looks back at the Thunder comeback victory against Memphis: “One of the things we talked about that I said before the game tonight is that we’ve got to create a defensive identity regardless,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. “We have to defend at a higher level every single night. Offensively, we struggled to get any kind of flow or continuity there, but I give our guys credit — they still tried to work as hard as they could to defend, even though offensively, we had our challenges.”

Nick Gallo (OKCThunder.com) on the defensive battle that was last night’s game: “It was a total slog. Passes flew out of bounds, dribbled plunked off of shins and shots missed in every direction – wide, short and long. Getting out of a losing skid isn’t easy when shots aren’t falling, so the Thunder used its defense instead. Down 13 in the fourth quarter, the Thunder sling-shotted ahead by holding the Memphis Grizzlies to 0-for-13 shooting from the field over a 7-and-half minute stretch towards the end of the game and gave itself a chance in crunch time.”

Royce Young (ESPN) on how Russell Westbrook’s beef with the entire league sets the tone for the Thunder: “Westbrook loves talking to the opposing bench. He hears everything, and the moment someone says something — often a “Hell no!” when he’s taking a jumper — well, then it’s on. Each bucket from there on out, that bench is getting a look — and many times, something more.”

Cody Taylor (OKCThunderWire) on Paul George winning the Western Conference Player of the Month award for February: “In 10 games played, George averaged 35 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game while he shot 44 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from beyond the arc.”

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