Thunder Bolts: Minnesota Timberwolves 119, Oklahoma City Thunder 116

Joel Devick

Sports Blogger

@joelyranch3r

 

The killer instinct is lacking

(Jumpy News, Flickr)

Oklahoma City has now lost two nail-biters to Minnesota by a combined five points. The Thunder have a loaded squad with three alphas in Carmelo Anthony, Paul George and Russell Westbrook, but one of them needs to become THE guy for the team. Finding the chemistry among them and jelling with the role players will be key to success, especially in the later part of the season.

The bench is finding its way

As stated before, OKC will need to have their role players step up. The team has been getting quality minutes out of Patrick Patterson, Jerami Grant and Raymond Felton in games up to this point. All three are critical in giving rest to George, Westbrook and Anthony.

Division matchups key

After acquiring Anthony in the offseason, the Thunder became the undoubted favorites in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference, but Minnesota will be hot on their tail all season long. The Timberwolves were another team to ramp up the operation this summer with acquisitions of Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford, and now have beaten the Thunder twice in this young season. OKC will need to make sure they keep an eye out for their matchups with Minnesota as well as their other divisional foes, the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers if it wants to keep up in a stacked West this year.

ozone@ocolly.com

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