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A Wheeler's Opinion: How Can OKC Save their Season?

Having 3 stars hasn't worked well for the Thunder. So far.


Just in case you haven't noticed or you probably don't want to notice because you're a Thunder fan, the Oklahoma City Thunder, yes, the team that currently has Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, has been struggling as of late. That's despite the fact that they were able to take the win against the Indiana Pacers in Paul George's first game against his former team.

While their win against the Pacers improved their record to 13-14 which puts them into 8th place in the Western Conference, that doesn't change the fact that the Thunder have been inconsistent as they've only won half of their last 10 games when in fact, with the line-up that they have right now, they should be winning more games and challenging the likes of the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets for the top spot. Instead, the Thunder have found themselves lagging behind in the bottom of the top 8.

One may probably ask: What is wrong with this OKC team? Is having 3 superstars doing more harm than good?

To be fair, this isn't the first time the Thunder have 3 stars on their team. Just a few years back, Russell Westbrook had Kevin Durant, James Harden and Serge Ibaka on the same team. That team went as far as the NBA Finals back in 2011 only to lose in 5 games against the Miami Heat of LeBron James, Dwayne and Chris Bosh.

So what is wrong with the Thunder nowadays?

One of the noticeable reasons why the Thunder aren't successful as they should be on paper is the fact that both Carmelo Anthony and Paul George aren't getting the same volume of touches that they were getting before coming to Oklahoma City. Anthony is averaging 63 touches per game while George is norming 56  touches per game. Russell Westbrook on the other hand, averages 94 touches. Lesser touches for Anthony and George mean fewer chances of them getting into their respective rhythm. And that was the same problem the Heat faced when LeBron and Bosh first came on board. But, that Miami Heat team was better than the OKC team than we are seeing today.

So how can Oklahoma turn things around?

For Carmelo Anthony and Paul George to be able to do what they used to do for the previous teams, the Thunder must now find a way to work around an offense that will be able to generate a higher volume of touches for both forwards.

Another thing that can help OKC get back into their winning form is this: Russell Westbrook should play his own game and lessen his tendency to get the two stars involved in their offense. While Westbrook has been known as a creative passer, in those games that the Thunder have won this season, Westbrook was playing exactly like the MVP he was last season.


Conclusion

This pundit on wheels isn't saying that the Thunder of last season was a better team compared to the Thunder team of today. While the Thunder still have the luxury of having the time to fix their problems, they might want to move quickly. They are in the 8th spot right now but tougher games are still ahead. If they want to make a deep run into the playoffs, then do the things that can help them win more games. Otherwise, they're missing the whole point of assembling their own Big 3. 

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