Knicks Preview: Keys to Defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder

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Nov 10, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka (9) celebrates after scoring while being fouled by Washington Wizards forward

Otto Porter

Jr. (22) in the second quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

5. Defending the Pick-and-Roll

The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the most dominant pick-and-roll teams in the NBA. With an elite facilitator and a healthy supply of dive-men, the Thunder are unstoppable when running the oldest play in the book.

The New York Knicks must find a way to contain it.

According to, no player has scored more points off of the pick-and-roll in 2015-16 than Russell Westbrook. The 160 instances of him running the play ranks No. 2 in the Association.

Off the dive, both Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter rank in the Top 20 in points scored as the roll man, per

Surprisingly, it’s Ibaka who checks in at No. 6 and Kanter at No. 19—not the other way around. It’s an underrated aspect of Ibaka’s game and a well-documented strength in Kanter’s.

If New York is to have any chance of defeating the Thunder, it must limit the efficiency with which Billy Donovan‘s club runs the pick-and-roll.

Next: Proving Grounds