Thunder Drive Into The Ditch, Or Is It Off The Cliff?
The Thunder rolled into the All-Star break with the best record in the NBA and a nice cushion of a lead in the Western Conference.
They have rolled out of the break straight into a ditch or maybe even off a cliff.
The Thunder may be tied for the second best record in the NBA but right now the way they're playing you could easily confuse them for a team with one of the worst records.
In fact yesterday they were beaten by the team with THE worst record in the Western Conference. The Lakers beat the Thunder in Los Angeles 114-110 yesterday. L.A. was coming off the worst loss in franchise history, a 48-point blowout at the hands of the Clippers.
So does that mean the Clips would clobber the Thunder by 52? Thankfully we won't have to find out for a while. Next up are the Houston Rockets and that's probably bad enough because the Rox certainly don't usually have trouble scoring points.
For the second straight game the Thunder gave up career highs in points to guys a lot of fans didn't even know.
Jodie Meeks hit 'em for 42 points yesterday and Gerald Green dropped 41 on the Thunder Thursday night. Both players got blistering hot from beyond the arc and the Thunder were helpless to put out their fires.
What's wrong with the Thunder? Well I continue to believe the loss of the team's best perimeter defender, Thabo Sefolosha, to a calf injury and the loss of OKC's best post defender, Kendrick Perkins, to a groin injury is most of it.
Statistics provided by Sport-Vu to NBA.com show the best pick and roll defensive combo in the league is Sefolosha and Perkins and since every NBA team now runs pick and roll plays as a major part of their offense, that's a problem. In fact the number three defensive combo on P&R plays is Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka. So Thabo shows up twice in the top three.
But it appears now days no one wearing Thunder Blue is playing defense.
Head coach Scott Brooks continues to say the problems can be fixed because "this isn't who we are."
I would suggest to Scott that he's wrong about that. It may not be who the Thunder were, but it certainly appears to be who the Thunder are now.