Rocky Mountain Low
By Randy Renner
Another game, another loss and now the Thunder sit all by their lonesome in last place in the Western Conference.
They're tied with the New York Knicks for the second worst record in all the NBA (only the 76ers at 0-11 are worse).
This time the loss came a little differently than most, this time the offense seemed up to the challenge but the defense checked out early and often.
Denver won the game 107-100, it was the first time in eight games the Thunder had allowed an opponent to score in the triple-digits. And it was only the fourth time this month the Thunder had scored as many as 90 points, much less hit the century mark.
Scotty Brooks was so disgusted with the way the third quarter started he yanked four of his starters and sat their butts down, sending in the reserves hoping for a spark.
“I didn’t think we started off the game with the right mindset, and we didn’t start the third quarter with the right mindset,” Brooks said after the game. “That’s something that’s unacceptable. It’s nothing that we can learn from because we should know that already.”
Brooks' patience seems to be wearing a bit thin and no wonder.
The schedule has softened up dramatically from the first six games, this was supposed to be when the Thunder could start bailing water and get the ship floating again. Instead the Thunder have sunk all the way to the bottom of the standings.
At least there was a little ray of hope last night, injured shooting guard Andre Roberson got back out on the court. He came off the bench and played seven minutes, scoring three points and grabbing a couple of rebounds.
Perry Jones should be back soon, but it will still likely be two to three weeks before Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are close to returning.
The Brooklyn Nets are here on Friday, a team that blew out the Thunder in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago but is now stuck in the midst of a five game losing streak.
So here is another opportunity for the Thunder to pick up one of those ever elusive wins, in fact Friday begins a four game Thunder home stand just full of those types of opportunities.
Golden State and the "Splash Brothers" are here Sunday, that may not be pleasant but Utah is in on Wednesday and the Knicks on Friday. Three of the four games certainly appear winnable, but then again three of the last four appeared winnable too and the Thunder went out and lost all four.
The ongoing silver lining to all this remains, once the all the injured players return this will be a really good team, probably a great one.
And as bad as things are right now, they're still only four-and-a-half games out of the 8th playoff spot with 69 games left to play.
Certainly seems doable.
You'd just like it if here pretty soon (like say this home stand) the Thunder would start making it a bit easier on themselves instead of a lot harder.