Andrew Gilman

Be excited, no wait, hang on a second

Be excited, no wait, hang on a second

The Thunder are in game three of a five-game home stand and things are going well.

There’s a lot to be excited for, but hang on just a second. There’s some concern, too. For example …

Be excited about …
The Thunder’s 6-1 start. For real, guys. It’s impressive. They have beaten every team they have supposed to beat and haven’t lost to anyone they’re not supposed to.

Don’t get worked up about …
This quick start. Yes, congrats, the Thunder are 6-1 and have beaten the Clippers. No one else. Now, it’s not the Thunder’s fault their schedule is soft to start the season, but getting worked up about how the Thunder are at the top of the standings are probably overreacting just a bit.

Be excited about …
The upcoming schedule is definitely agreeable. The Thunder are in the middle of a run of home games – getting seven-of-eight in OKC – and by the looks of it, there are some wins to be had.

Toronto and the Clippers the next two games. After that, it’s Orlando, Detroit, Houston, Brooklyn, Indiana, the Lakers, Sacramento, Denver, Detroit again and then the Knicks. There’s a real good chance the Thunder will pile up a bunch of wins and also be stocked up on confidence going into December. This is the absolute best schedule for a team trying to figure out its identity. So far, it’s working out just fine.

Don’t get worked up about …
About this schedule. I mean, come on, right? The Thunder haven’t played a bad game this season. Don’t count the loss to Golden State, because the Warriors are the best in the West, regardless of what their record is right now. The Thunder are due to play a few bad games. The Thunder are due to have a Russell Westbrook off-night where he doesn’t get enough bench help. It’s gonna happen at some point, so a loss to Orlando or Detroit is a real possibility.

Be excited about …
Russell Westbrook. You don’t need me to explain the reasons why. Reasons are longer than a CVS receipt. Dude is playing as well as anyone wearing basketball shorts.

Settle down about …
Russell Westbrook. If you’re part of the crowd who thinks Westbrook is going to average a triple-double all season and consistently feel the need to win games on his own, well, you’re probably OK with everything. The thing is, this sort of production is hard to maintain. Westbrook did struggle against Miami and got some bench help, but that kind of combination has been a rarity this season. Westbrook’s motivation the next several games should focus on making sure his teammates get better and everyone knows their role. If that happens, this team will get better.

Be excited about …
Domantas Sabonis. What a great start for the rookie from Gonzaga. He is shooting 44 percent from the field, 47 percent on 3-pointers and is playing 21 minutes per game for a team that’s 6-1. Not bad. He had a career-best 15 points and made four 3-pointers against the Heat last time out and also played a season-high 30 minutes. So far, so good.

Settle down about …
Jerami Grant. Long, super-athletic, great rebounder. OK. I can live with that. But the idea of him dunking on Kevin Durant and having to make a federal case about it is not something to be proud about. Grant’s not a scorer, not a 3-point threat, and not anything the Thunder really need. That’s problematic. Grant’s best game of the season came in the opener – against the Thunder – when he had 10 points. Grant hasn’t scored more than six in any other game. The Thunder are going to need a lot more production, offensively, from Grant if he’s going to continue to average 19.5 minutes per game.

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