The difference between the #Thunder team that ended last season and started this one is remarkable. The additions of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony wholly altered the fortunes of this franchise and the proof was evident right away. Every OKC 2016-17 possession seemed like a #Russell Westbrook drive, shot, or dish. But right from the tip, George took over some of the ball-handling responsibilities, and Anthony hunted for shots in the half-court. The offensive load was so heavy for Westbrook last year that it was fantastic to watch him do his thing with a much improved supporting cast.

Game MVP

After averaging a triple-double during his MVP season, Russell Westbrook came out of the gate and got another one (21 points/10 rebounds/16 assists).

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With all of the new firepower, one may have thought his numbers would take a hit, but not tonight. And while Westbrook differed to his new teammates early, he attacked the basket throughout the game, finishing forcefully at the rim and getting to the line.

The other starters

The game has never looked so easy for Paul George (28 points) and #Carmelo Anthony (22 points). The two seemed to be shooting open jumpers all night. Both struggled a bit with their shot, combining to go 17-43, but just the threat of their ability from deep opened up the lane for Westbrook. Whether superteams are good for the NBA is a legitimate debate, but these three playing together will bring out the best in all of their games.

Steven Adams (12 points) and Andre Roberson (six points) are expected to be the defensive anchors for the Thunder.

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Westbrook has a nice rapport with Adams on the lob, and Roberson will get plenty of wide open shots. Whether he'll knock them down remains to be seen.

The bench

The bench will be a question mark all year. The Thunder traded two starters for George, and two rotation players for Anthony. The signing of Patrick Patterson was one of the more underrated deals signed in the offseason, and they're going to count on him, Raymond Felton, Jeremi Grant, and Alex Abrines for timely contributions. But they all got off to a slow start, scoring a combined 16 points off the bench.

Final thoughts

The basketball gods added some drama to open the Thunder's season, pitting OKC against Carmelo Anthony's former team. Say what you will about Melo, but the guy is a Hall of Fame talent who wasted much of his prime in Madison Square Garden. Anthony isn’t blameless for the Knicks dysfunction, but as we saw with OKC in the off-season, a savvy front office should be able to surround a superstar with top-level players.