As the Thunder struggle to develop chemistry early in the season, the good news is that Carmelo Anthony was recently quoted telling Russell Westbrook, "We came here for you." From the outside, that statement may sound utterly obvious. But the fact that Anthony is fully aware of this aspect and so willing to express it is somewhat stunning. Anthony has always considered himself option number one and two in any offense, so the fact he is willing to take a backseat to Westbrook, in the proverbial OKC hierarchy, has got to be music to every Thunder fan's ears.

Anthony came into the Minnesota game averaging a team-high 24.8 points, so maybe his glowing speech stems from him getting his shots. But after agreeing to play power forward following the trade, Anthony does seem fully committed to winning. Paul George appears to share that sentiment but hasn't found his shot. Prior to the game, Paul was shooting just 38.6% from the field, and against his former team (Pacers) scored ten points and fouled out in 19 minutes.

George came out strong against Minnesota with a 12-point first quarter as the Thunder raced out to a seven-point lead. But a 19-10 Timberwolves run tied the game at intermission. The game was back and forth the entire second-half, but Westbrook and company didn't have enough down the stretch.

Thunder Game MVP

The Thunder are Westbrook's team, but he's been trying to keep his teammates involved, often getting off to slow starts himself. But come crunch time, the ball will be in his hands with the option to attack or dish. He had a chance for the game-tying shot tonight but passed it off to Anthony who missed at the buzzer.

Last year's MVP finished the night with 27 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists.

Rest of Thunder starters

Carmelo Anthony (23 points) and Paul George (23 points) both had strong games, but it was Steven Adams who added some scoring punch (20 points). Adams obviously won't get the acclaim of the 'Big 3' but his game is vital to the Thunder's success.

His ability to clog up the lane on defense and score without having plays run for him will be an X-factor all year long. Andre Roberson chipped in four points in 10 minutes.

Thunder Bench

The bench remains a major question mark for the Thunder. All Coach Donovan can hope for is that the reserves can hold the fort when their name is called. Patrick Patterson signed with the intention of starting for the Thunder but moved to the bench when Anthony was brought in. A lot was expected from him, but he hasn't found his place in the rotation yet. He played 19 minutes tonight and scored three points, but missed a key three-pointer in the last minute. Raymond Felton scored seven points, and Jerami Grant added six.

Final thoughts

Minnesota is another Western Conference team that made a major splash in the off-season. The additions of Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, and Jeff Teague have been mixed, but the one surprise is that the defense hasn't improved. In fact, according to, the Timberwolves have the worst ranked defense efficiency in the league.

Many assumed that the young players would turn on the defensive switch when Tom Thibodeau took over coaching duties last season and then again this year with former Chicago Bulls Butler and Gibson. But so far, the defense has been atrocious. And it really comes down to Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. Both are exceptional offensive talents, but until they commit to the other end of the floor they're going to mired in mediocrity.