By Addam Francisco
Where did the Oklahoma City Thunder go wrong Monday night? Well the easy excuse will be Kevin Durant's absence due to a sprained toe but the real excuse has to be lack of defense, and coach Bill Donovan not putting in the right players at the right times in the game. The Sacramento Kings beat Oklahoma City 116-104, in a long struggle sort of game.
Offense wasn't much of a problem at all for OKC, it was the defense that caused the biggest threat during this game. Serge Ibaka and Anthony Morrow scored 45 points off 18-of-28 shooting and 6-of-11 from three. Also, Cameron Payne continued to progress, and continued to impress, this time he seemed more under control and was thinking pass first the entire game, with 11 points and 5 rebounds... Probably following by Russell Westbrook's example, scoring 17 points and dishing out 15 assists. Steven Adams even had one of the best games I've seen him play scoring 15 points with 10 rebounds. This actually was a good game to watch offensively if you're a Thunder fan.
The first of two problems was defense. OKC had absolutely no answer for DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Marco Belinelli who combined for 67 points along with Rondo's 19 assists and 9 rebounds alone. This is where it's clear that (for the exception of Andre Roberson) this Thunder squad really needs improvement on the defensive end, especially on the perimeter.
The other major problem was Billy Donovan's lineup. There was absolutely no reason for Kyle Singler to be in the game and there was no good reason why Anthony Morrow, who was 8-of-11 shooting should have been on the bench when OKC started trailing big late in the game. The lineup should have been the starting lineup, Singler shouldn't even be in the rotation in games like these.
Oklahoma City will play conference rival, the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night at 9:30 p.m. in Oklahoma City for the second half of their home-stand.