Although it was a bit shaky at the beginning of the year as they worked to adjust to the offseason additions of Paul George and Carmelo, the Thunder look like they have steadied themselves and are now ranked as a top-10 offense. A large part of OKC’s offensive resurgence has been Carmelo’s acceptance of a reduced role. The article linked below does a fantastic job detailing Thunder coach Billy Donovan’s decision and Carmelo’s sacrifice.
“I think starting the year by letting them work through some things was the way to go,” says Thunder coach Billy Donovan. “I wanted to see how some of this stuff played out. Well, everybody being them wasn’t going to work. ‘You just be you, you be you, you be you’ — no, it just wasn’t going to work. Russell is this great transitional player. Paul is so great at flowing, cutting, moving. And sometimes Carmelo wants to say, ‘Let’s slow it down; let’s grind in the half court.’ Well, we can’t come down and say, ‘OK, let’s run and cut and move, and let’s get out on the break, and let’s slow it down.’ It can’t happen.”
For more on adjusting to new roles:
-Erik Spoelstra clinic notes that include stories of the Miami Heat “Big 3” (LINK)
-How Andre Igoudala turned the NBA Finals (LINK)
-Doc Rivers Coaching U notes with stories about Boston’s “Big 3” (LINK)