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News » Thunder has ways to go

Thunder has ways to go

Thunder has ways to go
The final numbers weren't pretty.

In its inaugural season, the Thunder's final team statistics provide clear visual evidence of the areas in which Oklahoma City must improve upon in 2009-10.

The Thunder ranked 24th (out of 30 teams) in the league in points per game (96.9), 23rd in average points allowed (103.5) and 27th in point differential (minus-6.09).

The team ranked 26th in field goal percentage (44.7) while ranking 27th in opponent field goal percentage (47.5).

OKC ranked 28th in 3-point field goal shooting (34.6).

The Thunder's 16.2 turnovers led the league and were a league-high 2.3 more than their opponent's average.

"It's important that we take some time off but get back at it quickly," said coach Scott Brooks. "We have to get better. We have to get better individually and we have to get better as a team. We want to keep progressing and keep building a strong foundation of team defense and individual pride on the defensive end. We just got to keep working hard."

Brooks said he believes his young core of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green will do just that. He also points to Nenad Krstic and Thabo Sefolosha being aboard for a full season as reason the Thunder should improve next season.

The starting lineup of Durant, Westbrook, Green, Sefolosha and Krstic played only 17 games together.

"I believe in the group that we have," Brooks said. "Our guys are gym rats and I have a lot of respect for them and what they accomplished."

The Thunder finished 23-59, just three wins more than the franchise-worst mark it complied in Seattle a year ago. Oklahoma City ran into much of the same problems that plagued last year's Sonics.

The Thunder lost 14 games by five points or less. The Sonics lost 13 by five or less. The Thunder had separate losing streaks of two, three, four, five, seven, eight and 14 games. The Sonics had separate losing streaks of three, four, five, six, eight, 11 and 14 games.

And for all the talk about the Thunder's improved home-court advantage, Oklahoma City's 15-26 record inside the Ford Center was only two more wins than the Sonics saw in Key Arena a year ago despite an average of 5,300 fewer fans.

"We need to come back here with the ability to show consistency as a Basketball team, which is clearly a challenge in the West when you have a young core," said general manager Sam Presti. "But we're confident that we had a good summer last summer. We need to have a better summer this summer. We'll look for ways to continue to improve our Basketball team, but we also realize that we're not going to be able to just make it happen all at one time."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 22, 2009


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