Without forward Josh Hall and starting shooting-guard Chasson Randle, the Oklahoma City Blue showed no signs of injury, blazing by the Canton Charge 141-110. This victory has propped the Blue back over the .500 hump, putting them as one of just four teams sitting at 2-1 on the season.
The main reason for the Blue’s dominant victory on Sunday came from their passing display. Of Oklahoma City’s 60 made field goals, 42 of them came assisted— that amounts to 70% of the team’s buckets. The Blue’s piercing offense from both the two (66.2%) and the three (44%) made matters worse for Canton, as they never adapted to either style of play. The Charge saw this game slip out as far as 37 points in the third period, and though they outscored the Blue 33-29 in the fourth, it was nowhere close to enough.
Oklahoma City’s scoring onslaught actually set some records for the group. The team’s unprecedented 141 gives them the league’s season-high in single-game points scored, and their eight players in double-figures nets the most the team has had thus far.
Moses Brown posted video-game numbers in Sunday’s contest. Brown’s 7-foot-2 frame proved to be no match for the Charge, who’s tallest active player stood at just 6-foot-10 in center Aaron Epps. Brown trampled over defenders from the jump, collecting a near double-double with 12 points and 7 rebounds through one period, and by the final buzzed tallied a game-high 26 points on 12-of-20 (60%) shooting, snagging together 17 rebounds in just 24 minutes of run. Brown’s udder control of the paint has been a storyline throughout the first week of the bubble as the 21-year-old has averaged 14.0 rebounds across the team’s first three games, while leading the league with 5.7 rebounds coming on offense. Brown’s strength and body control around the basket was glaring in the contest evidenced by constant double-teams to stagnate his performance— it did not.
Antonius Cleveland his ingrained himself into the Blue’s offense, dropping his second 20-piece of the season on uber-efficient percentages. Cleveland checked in and provided 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting for the Blue, hauling together 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in the process. You would have to imagine teams looking to carve out there roster come March are inking Cleveland’s name in highlighter, seeing as how the forward has plugged in and produced 20.3 point through three on 69.4% shooting and 66.7% from downtown. Clearly, you aren’t going to see Cleveland continue to give that same clip of production every single night but his hints at 3-level scoring should make scouts’ heads turn. To top things off for the 27-year-old his high usage as a distributor should lead to some potential positional-versatility at the three.
The Blue’s first-round selection in Zavier Simpson directed the second unit— and at times running with the starters. The Michigan product pumped out a double-double of 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting while also leading the game with 10 assists. Simpson has been used to operate through the paint, and it was no different in this game as a majority of his assists came off of kick-outs— but he also helped expand his range on 2-of-3 shooting from three. Second-round pick Rob Edwards matched Simpson’s total of 14 points to the tune of 5-of-11 shooting, but the shooting-guards money-maker came from deep— burying 4-of-7 shots.
Omer Yurtseven checked onto the floor for extended on Sunday, and he made it count. The Georgetown alum racked up a double-double of 14 points, 11 rebounds, and a refreshing 6 assists in his 21 minutes behind Moses Brown. Yurtseven 7-foot stance stalked amongst the Charge, feasting against players standing 3-to-4 inches taller than him for the majority of the game. Melvin Frazier Jr. chipped in all 13 of his points in the first half off of hard drives to the basket while helping to jar out 2 steals in the contest. Jaylen Hoard got his biggest opportunity so far on Sunday blazing by in transition for the majority of his 12 points. Hoard’s athleticism at 6-foot-8 was an issue for Canton as there was no stopping him once he had the lane.
Aleskej Pokusevski got slid down to the three for this game, making him a primary conductor in the offense. In the 19-year-old’s first crack at the three he made a wide-variety of nifty passes for collect 6 assists, but still had some jitters accounting for 5 turnovers. Poku cracked the double-digit club for the first with his 10 point outing seeming much less pressured to shoot the ball, hitting on 4-of-7 shots. Ty Jerome eased into the game for his 8 points and 5 assists, using screens to help attack the interior of the Charge’s defense for points and passing alike.
The Oklahoma City Blue (2-1) will have another shot to derail their upcoming opponent as they will face off against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (1-3) on Tuesday behind ex-Thunder guard Jalen Lecque.