Basketball Insider

Thunder Grades: Veterans

Thunder Grades: Veterans

Derrick Favors: D

Favors, standing at 6’9” has been playing center for the Thunder and giving the small lineups some much needed size.

Defensively, he uses his height to grab boards and to deter players from entering the lane. Favors has good spacing since his experience allows him to anticipate trends in opposing offenses.

Yet he was not much of a spark on offense, only averaging 5.3 points per game. With someone of Favors size and tenure, one would expect more productivity from this player.

Mainly playing off pick and rolls, Favors role in the offense was to set good picks and make put-backs if he snagged any offensive rebounds.

His impact was marginal at best and when adding his experience, Favors should have impacted games much more than they did.


Ty Jerome: C-

While Ty Jerome kept turnovers to a minimum, he was never the best distributor. Jerome averaged 2.3 assists per game this season.

Not being the most explosive player, it was difficult for Jerome to beat players off the dribble and finish layups. 

He mainly relied on his perimeter shooting, though he averaged 28 percent from deep. So if his shot was not falling from behind the arc, Jerome was practically silent offensively.

Jerome was scrappier on the defensive end and likely stayed on the court for his efforts on that side of the ball.

While his defensive abilities are a fit Oklahoma City, the Thunder have their fair share of guards that can take care of the basketball.

What he did bring to the Thunder was a much needed veteran presence to the lineup. Players like Mann have really benefitted from sharing the court with someone with more experience.

Since he’s not the biggest offensive threat, averaging 7 points per game, it’s tough to see Jerome in OKC’s long-term plans.


Mike Muscala: B

This 30 year old is one of the oldest members of the Oklahoma City squad. But his age has not tainted his mentality like many others in the league.

Mike Muscala still does the little things to be a good influence on his younger cohorts, despite not getting as much playing time as them.

Averaging only 13.8 minutes a game, Muscala averaged a 42.9 percent clip from deep. This awarded him another nickname “Microwave scorer.”

He became a key part of the Thunder’s secondary rotation by consistently being one of the most efficient three-point shooters.

Standing at 6’10” Muscala was a center in the Thunder’s lineup. But being an undersized five gave him a disadvantage when it came to rim protection. Defensively he was not the most effective on the floor.

Embodying the character of Oklahoma City and becoming one of the most efficient shooters from deep, its no wonder that Musky has grown on Thunder fans.


Kenrich Williams: A-

Arguably one of the most crucial role players for OKC this season was Kenrich Williams.

Even though he was not the most impactful offensive player, his powerful defensive efforts were palpable.

His presence was deeply missed after Williams and Lu Dort went out due to injury. What was once a top five ranked defense slipped to 17th by the end of the season.

Becoming the defensive specialist of the second unit, Williams always set the tone with his consistent energy.

Diving for every loose ball, staying in front of every guard, and forcing multiple turnovers Williams was awarded the nickname “Kenny Hustle.”

Williams stayed efficient from the field by making 46 percent of his attempts. As a role player coming off the bench, thats a solid place to be.

His savviness on defense cannot be denied. Williams had a special way of setting a competitive pace and lifting up the productivity of others around him.

Kenny Hustle’s advantages are a lot like his nickname, his strengths don’t necessarily show up on the stat sheets.

His defensive presence is undeniable and if he can raise his offensive production, Williams could be a sought after sixth man.

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