‘Sota in OKC
Currently on the brink of the playoffs in the West with 24 wins to 26 losses, the Thunder are valiantly defending their chances this season. We could even tell a year ago, because the last Draft’s 2nd pick, Chet Holmgren, is on the wing, and we expected more of them next season.
Despite this notable absence, the Thunder are riding high on potential All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s breakout season and their quick-fire, irreplaceable five. So, Oklahoma City is one of the top tempo teams in the league.
In this case, in fourth place, behind the Kings, Warriors and Grizzlies, the Thunder are playing the revival card. Especially with a system called Minnesota. Yes, because after “dropping” all systems have a “geo” name in OKC!
This system involves asking two players who don’t rebound and are usually outside the 3-point line to line up on each corner at the opposite end of the court. This puts the defense under immediate pressure and opens up opportunities, especially for quick and skilled dribblers.
The goal is generally for the leader or tailback, who will take care of the shooter, to return the ball as quickly as possible to initiate a counterattack (or later on a quick shot). three with a large gap to rush to gain speed as you approach the opposite circle.
“Minnesota was doing something crazy [Ricky] Rubio »
It was Larry Greer, a scout for the Thunder-affiliated G-League franchise, who created it in Oklahoma City and brought the system back from one of its countless road trips during the 2017-18 season.
“He called me one day and said Minnesota is crazy [Ricky] Rubio put two guys at the other end of the field after shots »Remembers Marc Daigneaut in The Oklahoman. “They were opening up spaces on the court and Rubio was sending passes for cuts from the baseline. »
Then Blues boss Marc Daigneault quickly experimented with the system to try to create an attacking edge for scoring winger Daniel Hamilton. “But he was very bad…” now the coach is smiling. “So we put Dez Wells in that role and he was in the circle on two dribbles! », hardly exaggerating. “With that, Minnesota turned into a Dez Wells special system. »
In four years in the blue tunic of the Blues, after great varsity seasons on the Maryland side (14 points average), Dez Wells enjoyed the move with his explosive athleticism.
“The kids knew we were going to do it, but it didn’t change anything! », she laughs. “We are used to it. One look from the coach and I knew I had to get the ball back and score as quickly as possible. It became a game between us, a game within a game. We used this system six or seven times in a match. I still don’t understand why they came to my defense everywhere, thinking they could keep me standing. »
“It’s the idea of injecting speed into a situation that’s usually slow.”
Now only layup is very cleverly used for SGA who have to choose between small tear drop even a mid-range shot or a cross is demarcated, but there are several variations of this system. One of its variations, whose address can be guessed quite easily, is, for example, called Belgrade (which is obviously for Aleksei Pokusevsky).
“There is another one, but I don’t want to reveal it. You have to find it yourself.” Mark Daigneault continues. “I also don’t want scouts to start watching my media sessions. »
The pleasant surprise of the season, such as the confirmation of the young Jalen Williams, who ran with 12 points, or Josh Giddey (16 points, 6 assists and 8 rebounds), the Thunder, obviously, is one of the franchises that has had strong winds for years. to come
While waiting for that collective to take shape even more clearly, Mark Daigneault continues to enrich the “playbook” in order to be as well prepared as possible to bring together all the talents of the workforce in any case.
“If we could just create one or two transition situations after shots, it wouldn’t have happened otherwise.” he concludes. “It’s the idea of injecting speed into a situation that’s usually slow, with a walk-on player to bring the ball up against a set defense. »
|Players||GM||Minimum||Shots||3 points||LF||Turn off||Def||Early||p.d||bp||Int||CT||party||Points|
|Jeremiah Robinson Earl||26||21.1||48.9||38.2||78.6||2.0||3.0||5.0||1.0||0.6||0.7||0.4||1.9||8.5|
|Lindy Waters III||19||11.2||38.8||37.1||71.4||0.4||1.3||1.6||0.8||0.3||0.3||0.3||1.0||4.2|