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Steals, Blocks Becoming Key Part of OKC Defensive Arsenal

Oklahoma City ranks top-5 in the NBA in both steals and blocks so far this season.

The Thunder’s identity is becoming clear.

They’re embracing their young talent and playing quick and fast. The best way to play both quick and fast? Steals and blocks that lead to transition opportunities.

The Thunder’s blocks and steals are a key to the team's success early in the season. The Thunder continue to be one of the top rebounding teams in the League, but are even better in both steals and blocks early in the season.

The blocks may come as a surprise at a glimpse of the OKC roster, which lacks the size that would typically come with a premier team.

However, Oklahoma City ranks third in the league with 6.4 blocks per game. The block party is led by Aleksej Pokusevski, the Thunder’s Serbian 7-footer, who averages nearly two per game.

Now that number may change slightly soon with the chance of Pokusevski missing a short time with an ankle sprain.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander comes in just behind Pokusevski with 1.4 blocks per game. SGA has stuffed the stat sheet on all ends, but his defensive prowess has shined through.

The Thunder also rank top five in steals per game, coming in fourth with 8.3 per game early in the season.

That category is yet another major stat line where SGA leads the team. He’s notching nearly two steals per game thus far this season.

Behind him is Lu Dort who has recorded 1.3 per game. They are the only two Thunder players averaging above one steal per game. The steaks have been a full team effort overall, which continues to help OKC produce transition points and get extra possessions.

Overall the Thunder need to use blocks and steals to propel their offense as one of the youngest teams top to bottom in the league.

They’ve done just that this season, and their offense has sparked numerous scoring explosions with the extra possessions they’ve created through steals.

While the numbers will certainly fluctuate throughout the season, they are bright right now and it’s transitioned into success. 

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