Another loss leaves OKC with questions
By Addam Francisco
Following a pretty bad loss Friday night against the Indiana Pacers in what appeared to be a defensive let down late in the game, came Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. In this early Sunday afternoon game, there was a lot of optimism heading into this one, but due to a pretty pitiful three quarters of the game, this ended about the same way as Friday's. The Oklahoma City Thunder got slaughtered at home against the Cavs. With this 115-92 loss, that leaves season-long questions unanswered. Now, people are beginning to get restless.
What's going on with the Thunder? Whats the common denominator in all of this? Why when Dion Waiters clearly isn't having the game he'd like to have does coach Billy Donovan continue to play him? What's wrong with the defense? These are all questions being asked at this point and honestly, no one seems to know the answer.
The most obvious struggles include the following:
Dion Waiters inconsistent play continues to cripple this team. Although his defense has improved, it seems like some games he's on and some game's he's not only off, but he's missing everything badly. That was the case today. He shot 1-of-8 for 4 points in just 32 minutes of play. The moment when Dion threw up an airball, and then came back down and had a turnover should've been the moment Donovan pulled him from the game and gave another guy on the bench a chance to be somewhat productive.
The constant statistic and what seems to be an excuse seems to be "We have Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook", well that doesn't change anything when it's seemingly the two of them versus an entire team. The Thunder need more production, whether that means bench players like Cameron Payne, Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and now, Randy Foye stepping up their game and playing like they want to win a championship. If that doesn't happen, you can call it a season for Oklahoma City. There's no way they can beat Cleveland, Golden State or San Antonio with two players. Cleveland just won by 23 points without Kyrie Irvin, who left early with flu-like symptoms, their best defender Iman Shumpert, Mo Williams and new addiction Channing Frye.
Steven Adams seemed to be the answer early on, scoring 9 points in the first quarter but finished the game with 9 points, due to limited action caused by foul trouble. Russell almost had another triple-double with 20 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds. Kevin finished with 26 points as well, but the bench scored a deplorable 21 points off the bench in comparison to Cleveland's 30. Not to mention, 6 Cleveland players combined for 109 points, all of which scored in double figures. Oklahoma City just had 3 players in double figures, and the third, Serge Ibaka only had 12. In his first game as a Thunder player, Randy Foye wasn't much of a factor at all after he got into foul trouble early in this game.
Something needs to give for this Oklahoma City Thunder team, they need to figure something out or they are going to get embarrassed by the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday, New Orleans Pelicans Thursday, and for sure the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. The Thunder drop to (40-16) on the season but remain in the third Western Conference spot.