Following a 121-103 victory over the Texas Legends on Sunday, the Oklahoma City Blue returned to the Thunder ION courts this week for three practice sessions ahead of their game on Thursday, November 13 against the Sioux Falls Sky Force.
After playing four games in the first nine nights of the season, the Blue are looking to use these three days off to focus on themselves and the fundamentals.
“When we have a stretch of time, we try to return to our roots, so to speak, and really double down on our identity,” Head Coach Mark Daigneault said. “Not opponent specific, but just system specific on both sides of the ball.”
The Blue have come out of the gates hot this season, starting the year 4-0, and sit in second place in the Western Conference. The team boasts an offensive rating of 108.9 and a defensive rating of 93.8, good for a G League-leading +15.1 net rating.
“The season is going well. I think we have a good group of guys,” Daigneault said. “Obviously we are off to a good start wins and losses wise, but it has been a good group from a competitive standpoint, from an unselfish standpoint. It is something that we can definitely build on.”
Scotty Hopson leads the team in scoring, averaging 17.5 points per game on 60 percent shooting from the field to go along with 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists, while Thunder Two-Way player Deonte Burton is second, averaging 14.7 points and shooting 50 percent from three-point range while also grabbing 5.0 rebounds and dishing out 2.0 assists. All in all, there are eight Blue players averaging double figures in scoring while Two-Way player Tyler Davis and Richard Solomon tag-team the glass, averaging 9.3 and 8.0 rebounds, respectively. Abdul Gaddy is the lead facilitator of the bunch, averaging 5.8 assists per contest.
Despite being off to a torrid start, Daigneault still sees a lot of room for growth on both sides of the ball. “From a defensive standpoint, I think that some of our effectiveness has been a result of our athleticism more so than our execution,” Daigneault said. “Being able to channel our athleticism and execute, I think that we can be a really good defensive team and offensively, [it’s] just decision making; I think we have shared the ball well, we have not played selfishly..”
Following the game against the Sky Force, the Blue hit the road for two games this weekend against the Texas Legends and Austin Spurs before returning to the Cox Convention Center when they host the Iowa Wolves on Friday, November 23.