The Celtics take advantage of the struggles of Oklahoma's stars
Kyrie Irving had a big second half against the Thunder
Sure. The Oklahoma City Thunder instantly became a super team when they successfully received Carmelo Anthony and Paul George in two separate deals during the buys and exciting off season that rocked the NBA.
On the other side, Kyrie Irving's trade request was granted as he was sent by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics.
While that trade may have been one-sided considering the number of players that Celtics lost which included Isaiah Thomas, look at where the Cavs are right now. Then look at where the Celtics are after their game against the Thunder.
Who has the better standing as of the moment?
As it turned out, the trade that sent Irving to the Celtics has been benefiting Boston more than it's benefiting the Cavs as Boston convincingly beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-94 in a game between two teams that have been reloaded prior to the beginning of the season.
And as it turned out, having 3 stars on your starting line-up doesn't automatically you can win every single game because if one star struggles and so do the other two, you are doomed and that's exactly what the Thunder experienced as below are the numbers that will explain to you how the Celtics won:
Shutting Down the Big 3 of Oklahoma: Trio Combined for 38 Misses
- Russell Westbrook went 7 of 20 for 19 points
- Paul George went 9 of 20 for 25 points
- Carmelo Anthony went 3 of 17 for 10 points
If you want a simple explanation as to why Oklahoma got its rears kicked horribly, just look at the field goal shooting of their trio of stars.
Throughout the game, the defense of the Celtics continuously frustrated Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George as they combined for 38 misses- 38 out of the 52 shots that Oklahoma missed in the entire game.
In addition to this, Westbrook and company were also shooting bricks from beyond the three-point line. The reigning MVP only nailed 3 of his 7 attempts from deep. Paul George also hit 3 from deep but took 10 shots. Carmelo Anthony was the sorriest of the three, missing all 5 of his shots from outside.
Both Teams hit 13 Threes Apiece: Only One Shot Better
- Oklahoma: 13 of 35
- Boston: 13 of 28
Given the fact that Westbrook, George and Anthony are known as heavy shot takers meaning they have the tendency to take as many shots as they can, the Celtics did a good job in making sure that the trio missed most of their opportunities especially from outside- all while also making sure that they were scoring efficiently form their end.
By the end of the night, both squads ended up 13 threes apiece but, with the Celtics shooting better from rainbow distance. How good? Al Horford, who had 20 points, made all 4 of his three-point attempts while rookie Jayson Tatum hit 2 long-distance bombs, en route to a 13-point outing. Irving, for his part, had 3 made threes on 7 attempts.
Another All-Around Performance from #11
Gordon Hayward can take all the time he needs to recover from the injury he sustained during the Celtics' opening night loss against the Cavs because as it is, the Celtics are just doing fine without him as evident by their 7-2 standing after beating a loaded Oklahoma team. Kyrie Irving has been playing great basketball as of late and his performance against the Thunder is no surprise at all
10 of 22 field goal shooting
What could you possibly ask for? That's classic Kyrie Irving for you, folks.
The win improved Boston to 7-2, the best record in the Eastern Conference in the early goings of the season while the Thunder dropped to 10th place in the West, at 4-4.
While chemistry can play a role in the struggles of the Thunder, chemistry seems not to be a problem for the Celtics as Kyrie Irving found no difficulty in blending well with his new team.
Why? The Celtics are on a roll as we speak, winning 7-game winning streak after losing their first two games to open the regular season.