Oklahoma City Thunder: 3 X-Factors For This Upcoming Season


Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City Thunder
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

X-Factor #2: The Westbrook-Schröder Dynamic

Westbrook is going to be the engine for this Oklahoma City Thunder team. You don’t have to be an astrophysicist to know that, but having Schröder as a secondary playmaker, especially when Westbrook is off the floor, is huge for this OKC squad.

In the driver’s seat for the last two years for the Hawks, Schröder averaged 17.9 and 19.4 points per game and 6.3 and 6.2 assists per game. He’s gradually improved his shooting percentage in the mid-range area each season, and with better spacing on the Thunder, he’ll have those shots at will.

Both Schröder and Westbrook haven’t shown much consistency playing off-ball, but both are dynamic playmakers in the open floor and in pick-and-roll situations getting downhill. Schröder could very well play the old James Harden role as the secondary playmaker that OKC has been lacking for some years.

That will come with some turnovers (like Westbrook), but Schröder has cut down on those the last few years. A turnover percentage of just 12.7 percent (per Basketball Reference) is good considering the Hawks didn’t have close to the same offensive personnel this current OKC has.

With both Westbrook and Schröder putting constant pressure on the opposing defense, George, Alex Abrines, Terrance Ferguson and Patrick Patterson should have a ton of open looks from deep. Defensively, Schröder’s career -1.6 defensive box plus-minus is not going to be an upgrade, but with other pieces such as Andre Roberson, Noel and Grant, the Thunder should be able to hide Schröder.

The aforementioned Roberson is essential to OKC making a deep postseason run.

Next Up: No.3

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