- In the first 4 minutes Aaron Gordon has had SGA on him on a switch, and both times it amounted to fouls; one shooting foul without points, and the other an and-1 drive. Slashing forwards with outstanding athleticism that use their body to force contact near the rim are a big disadvantage for OKC & SGA, which could be something teams hunt come playoff time depending on the matchup.
- Jamal Murray’s fearlessness to finish in traffic off of putbacks is really impressive and a key part of the Nuggets’ identity.
- Early on, Jokic’s physicality has been overwhelming for Holmgren. He takes hard bumps and noticeably loses position, and also struggles to contain Jokic’s momentum on drives. Chet is still physical and aggressive on the boards to use his length to win.
- Rebounding was a key story in this game. Physicality was a key part of this, combined with the Nuggets’ consistent effort on crashing the glass over getting back in transition.
- Michael Porter Jr was a lethal weapon after the OKC defense was out of position. Far too often, MPJ was open for jump shots from a collapsed defense against drives.
- Cason Wallace has been a pest on the glass & defense, forcing jump balls and playing confidently against switches even against Jokic. In a game where it felt like several players didn’t live up to the matchup, Cason Wallace showed up with full intensity.
- Yet again, Peyton Watson’s defense went a long way in this one. The Thunder had just 75 points after three quarters, and a large part of that was how effective Watson was in every second of his first 13 minutes.
- SGA had what should be his worst game of the season. His lack of drawing fouls & early misses seem to have rattled his confidence. This game was over as soon as it started for SGA as he struggled to ever get going.