By the end of summer, the Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti was already running away with the executive of the year award, or so we thought. By trading away their shooting guard Victor Oladipo and a few role players, Presti managed to recruit two all-stars in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. This not only boosted their offense significantly but the addition of Paul George [VIDEO]brings in another all NBA defensive player to play with Andre Roberson. However, after a bright start to the season, this defense has tailed off significantly and are currently 29th in the league in defensive efficiency.

Big 3's shooting inconsistencies

With three all-star caliber scorers, the Thunder should be firing on all cylinders.

This new Big 3 was supposed to challenge the Golden State Warriors for conference supremacy (and in their first league meeting this year, they did). However, with almost a third of the season gone, this Thunder offense is struggling to keep them in playoff contention. With a record of 12-14, they currently sit 9th in the Western Conference standings on the fringe of the playoff positions (they were 15-11 at this point last season).

All three superstars are currently shooting at a considerably lower percentage than last season (Anthony 43.3 to 40.4, George 46.1 to 41.8 and Westbrook 42.5 to 39.6) and averaging some of the worst scoring years of their careers. As a team, the Thunder averaging just over 100 points per game (101.8), which ranks them 24th, a sharp decline from last season's ranking of 10th (106.5 PPG).

Isolation play stagnating offense

Despite an overall reduction in the number of isolation possessions by the Thunder's all-stars, they each still rank above the 70th percentile in relation to the rest of the league. In a preseason press conference, Head Coach Billy Donovan didn't seem too concerned as he wants to "allow these guys to do this because they're really good at it". Judging by their performance this season, he may need to start rethinking these tactics before it's too late. This iso-play causes less fluid offense which is currently generating a mere 20.6 assists per game (25th in the league). That number is lower than that of the 2016-17 Thunder in which more than half the team's total assists came solely from Russell Westbrook.

When a team is in the bottom 10 of offensive PPG, defensive efficiency, and assists per game, there is no reason that they should be striving for playoff success let alone a playoff berth. Yet they are. This should give the Thunder fans many reasons for excitement and hopes of improvement. A team cannot always gel so quickly and figure out how to move the ball fluidly between 3 players who've each averaged a usage rating of over 27 percent in the past few years.

With this in mind, there are another 56 games to play. There is time for this Thunder offense to find its groove and still make a serious run in the Western Conference playoffs. #Russell Westbrook #NBA news #Okc