Chris Paul's absence felt in Thunder's loss to Mavericks
Thunder coach Billy Donovan was asked three times Monday night about the absence of Chris Paul and how it affected his team. Donovan's final response was curt.
"Chris was not here, so we're going to focus on the game and the guys that played in the game," Donovan said. "It's hard for me to comment. Chris had nothing to do with this game."
Paul missed his first game of the season in the Thunder's 107-97 loss to the Mavericks. The 34-year-old point guard was away from the team for personal reasons following the death of Kobe Bryant.
"Listen, Chris is a great leader and a great player," Donovan said. "But you know what? I thought Dennis (Schroder) was really trying to lead the team today. I thought Steven (Adams) was really trying to do a good job. Mike Muscala was up. There were a lot of guys with a voice."
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It wasn't just Paul's voice that was missing as the Thunder's five-game winning streak was snapped. It was his offense.
The Thunder shot just 40 percent from the field against the Mavericks. OKC failed to score 100 points for the first time in 16 games.
Paul's 17.2 points and 6.4 assists per game barely scratch the surface of his impact. He's the Thunder's fourth-leading scorer, but OKC averages 113 points per 100 possessions with Paul on the floor. That number drops to 99.8 points per 100 possessions with Paul off the floor.
Paul's on/off offensive rating difference of 13.2 points is second-highest on the team behind Danilo Gallinari's 13.6.