The Thunder made an offseason coaching change from Scott Brooks to Billy Donovan. The move was inherently tied to Donovan’s ability as an offensive coach to improve the team’s efficiency and versatility.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Offensive Efficiency Rank; Last 5 Seasons
It’s not as if the Thunder were a poor offensive team under Brooks, but the team’s effectiveness had slid in recent seasons. Injuries to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook certainly played a role in that.
OKC is 3% more efficient offensively than last season, vaulting from 11th to 2nd, behind only the Warriors. Under Donovan, there have been many changes to scheme. Points of emphasis have been altered.
KEYS TO THUNDER OFFENSE
1 – Offensive rebounding
The Thunder lead the NBA in rebounding, and that is in large part because OKC is offensive rebounding at a 9% higher rate than any other team.
The Thunder are converting offensive rebounds into putbacks at a 13% higher efficiency than last year, improving the team’s rank from 22nd to 4th.
2 – Post Efficiency
OKC leads the NBA in post efficiency this season, a 30% increase from last season when the Thunder were 25th in the league.
While post plays remain essentially the same percentage of the team’s offense, the Thunder are scoring nearly 2 post points per game more as a result of increased efficiency.
3 – Passing to Score
Last season, 9.6% of the Thunder’s passes led to points. This season, that rate is up 9%. The rate at which the team is passing out of the post, pick-and-roll and isolations is up 3%.
The team’s effectiveness on these pass out situations is about 2.5% better than last year. The indicators are pointed toward the Thunder making better passes to put teammates in better positions to score this season.
Peter Newmann is an analyst and writer who spent 10 years at ESPN, 8 as the NBA senior researcher working 24/7 on the league. He wrote game notes for crews, articles for ESPN.com, analysis for studio shows, and regularly assisted reporters and writers. Follow him on Twitter, and check out his Web site, www.peternewmann.com.