Don't Make Me Use The Bat
When you have it down to a 2pt game in the final 30 seconds it can't be a fake hustle charge, because at that point anything can happen. But this act has grown tiresome, and of concern was just how evident that was written all over the faces of Cousins and Joerger.
Link to Boxscore
Gay ( B ) -- stretches of very aggressive play, including strong boards and attempts at big finishes. Kept us afloat through a long stretch of the first half. But also out of sorts, kept forcing garbage looking for the refs to bail him out, and missing shots to trigger Thunder breaks.
Tolliver ( B- ) -- a hard man to grade because much of what he does might best be termed "subtle". Was set up to have a bad night as the Adams/Kanter frontline was just too big and chased him as Kanter overwhelmed him around the rim. But Adams' injury brought back 1 big man sets, and Tolliver once again made timely plays to help our second half run.
Cousins ( B ) -- big statistical line, some brilliant stuff of course, but also too many of the TOs were his as he has had to take over at PG with Collison now retired from passing, and we're beginning to see those forced pas TOs again. Moving slower now, and defensively saved fouls but did not contest the Thunder bigs enough. Tried to manufacture an unlikely 4th quarter comeback that fell just short.
Temple ( C+ ) -- had an effect on Westbrook early, but got into quick foul trouble, and never the same afterward. Eventually Westbrook took off, and Garrett actually ended up sitting for this version of the doomed comeback.
Collison ( B- ) -- played a pathetic first half, but came out in the second and immediately established himself as a scorer, and did not let up in a 19pt half. Was about all he was doing, as DC is now a primary defensive sieve and quit passing at some point during the offseason. But in a 72pt half for us, he was weapon #2 and the PG with the ball as we tried to steal this at the end.
Barnes ( C ) -- these grades are getting tough, because Matt is being productive -- in this case helping on the glass, and being basically the only bencher who found a way to score in the first half. And yet he just makes so many dumb errors, leaving corner 3pt shooters, fouling guys for +1s, this time adding a T as we were fighting back in the 4th. Duh.
Koufos ( D+ ) -- saved himself with his late stint when he got a couple of spoonfed down the lane dunks, but really a poor game for Kosta on a night when he was needed to give us a twin tower set to match Admas/Kanter. instead he got in major foul trouble (and got a T arguing it), dropped passes, and missed finishes.
Lawson ( C ) -- I actually missed the play where he turned his ankle. But in any case, up until that point had started slowly, but was once again beginning to make offensive plays for teammates as the bench inched in closer. Unfortunately his size was being used against him defensively at the same time.
Afflalo ( C- ) -- played a bizarrely hyper-aggressive game, coming in and racing around clearly looking to force offense as quickly as possible. Somebody said something, he just got a burr, I don't know. It did result in some aggressive scores. It also helped explain his 4 TOs trying to do too much too fast.
Cauley Stein ( INC ) -- with Koufos both playing fugly and in foul trouble, Joerger gave Willie a brief shot at replacing him. Unfortunately that meant Kanter at that point, and Willie can no longer handle that, if he ever could.