Billy Donovan Changes Oklahoma City Thunder’s Play Style

Billy Donovan Oklahoma City Thunder
Spread the love

This season will be an interesting one for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Head coach Billy Donavon is going to have to change Oklahoma City Thunder’s play-style to better suit his players. As we have seen in the blue and white scrimmage, the isolation game that this team has relied on for so long is gone. Replacing the one-on-one style offense is a more fun brand of basketball.

Billy Donovan Changes the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Style of Play

Billy Donavon has gone to a more progressive style of basketball. This ball movement inside-out game is certainly more entertaining. The coach embraced these facts, and a young athletic lineup stepped onto the court.

The Lineup

The Oklahoma City Thunder went with a unique lineup.

First and Second Half

This Oklahoma City Thunders lineup was flying up and down the court and kept an incredible pace during the first quarter. This lineup is solid and keeps the ball moving around the arch. The Thunder scored 33 in the first quarter

They shot a better percentage from the field and behind the arc than they ever did last year. Teammates were sharing the basketball and playing like a team.

Steven Adams

Steven Adams, on the first possession, shoots and drains the three. Adams’s footwork seemed to be improved from last year. He just looked healthy. Last season his game depleted from a  shoulder injury, so he lost his effectiveness.

Chris Pau and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Chris Paul came out and proved that he can still facilitate an NBA offense. He was very proficient and scored six points and four assists. Paul also played well with Shai Alexander on the floor.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was everything that was advertised — playing off-ball looks to be one of Gilgeous-Alexander’s strengths.

In addition to all of those stats, he filled the void that Russell Westbrook could not. He can drive, shoot from behind the arch, and pass. He can also take over games.

Hamidou Diallo

Hamidou Diallo played well; he played great defense last night.

He showed great athletic prowess with how he finishes his dunks.  Diallo played with a lot of confidence too.  He seems to be more comfortable with Billy Donavon’s system. He ended the game with eight points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes.

Danilo Gallinari

Danilo Gallinari started the game at four. Which I did not mind. A stretch four in the thunders lineup will bring a new dynamic to this offense. Also, it will allow Adams plenty of room to operate on the paint.

The Bad From Billy Donovan and the Changes to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Play Style

There are three things that need to get cleaned up, especially with Billy Donovan and the changes to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s style of play. As we all know, preseason is for dusting the rust off in prep for the regular season. Taking care of the ball and not turning the ball over is crucial for success. Carelessness with the basketball is something that needs to be addressed.

Defense and Free Throws

Another aspect of the thunders game that needs to change is their defense. The defensive assignments sometimes get muddled up during a game. Players seem to forget about their switches and miss the assignment, and that leads to open shots. The defense of the Thunder also has difficulty clearing defensive rebounds. It’s never beneficial to give offense multiple possessions and opportunities to get field goals against you.

In addition to the defensive woes, the Oklahoma City Thunders have issues at the line.  Last year the Thunder struggled on the line last year. This seems to have rolled over to this year. They shot only 65 percent on Tuesday night.

In conclusion, I like what I have seen from the offense. This offense seems to be able to put points on the board.  Even with two all-stars, the offense became stagnant and would go on long stretches with empty possessions. The defense and the turning the ball over is something that needs to be addressed.

Main Photo
Embed from Getty Images