When I woke up this morning, I felt terrible. The clock said I had 8 hours of sleep, but my body begged to differ. So I rolled back over and slept another 30 minutes. At that point, I had to get up, and I still felt terrible. The Thunder have been the same way over the past two games. Against the Jazz, they played terribly. So, they mail it in and hope for better luck on the road against the lowly Clippers. Failed again.
The question now is whether, upon the third time of waking up, the Thunder will finally get out of bed. This game was terrible. From the start, you could tell that the Clippers were hungry for a win. They matched the Thunder point for point, and they were getting easy mid-range jumpers seemingly at will. In the second, the game started getting out of hand for the Thunder. From the quarter-by-quarter score, it looks like the Thunder slowly lost control of the game, but in fact, this was a game of runs. The Clippers would make a big run, and the Thunder would make a slightly smaller run. The Thunder's runs tended to come towards the end of the quarter, which is why there's no big disparity.
But, that's essentially the whole game. The lane was wide open for the Clippers to take, and they knocked down their shots. On offense, the Thunder had nothing going. Kevin Durant looked very average, missing contested shots that he normally makes, and Westbrook had his share of misses as well. But, putting aside the below average performance of the stars, once can look at the horrific play by the role players.
Below: Individual Player and Team Analysis, Awards!
Sefolosha had another 0fer on offense. His defending was good from a team perspective (he had the best plus minus ratio of anyone with over 20 minutes), but he certainly didn't stop Eric Gordon (Thunder Plunderer) from getting 27 points. Aside from a layup in garbage time, James Harden (Thunder Blunder) also had an 0fer. Did Daequan Cook help out? Not really, he hit a three in the third, and the rest of his points came in garbage time. Eric Maynor? Another 0fer, aside from a late garbage time layup.
The big men had their own problems. While Ibaka (Thunder Wonder) and Krstic (Thunder Down Under) both did decent jobs of scoring, they left the lane wide open for business. Kaman only scored 4, but I can't tell you how many times I saw Eric Gordon driving down the middle of the lane for a freebie layup, or Blake Griffin muscling his way into easy points.
Jeff Green is more of an enigma. On paper, he had the best game, scoring 19 Points while shooting over 50% and grabbing 9 rebounds. But in actuality, his game wasn't all roses. His plus/minus ratio was -21, because he couldn't handle the bigger PFs that the Clippers threw at him. DeAndre Jordan, Craig Smith, and Blake Griffin all had great nights scoring on Green, and Green didn't do enough to take advantage of the mismatch he had. If his game was really on tonight, he could have scored 30.
But when you really get down to it, the main reason we lost this game is the terrible games from Durant and Westbrook. The game wasn't even close, and Durant was regularly throwing up airballs. Westbrook did a poor job distributing, and at times I'd seen us pass it around to all 5 guys on the floor, with none of them willing to shoot it. I was almost rooting for the ball to end up in the hands of Krstic. When I'm actually rooting for that to happen, you know it's a bad game.
And the Clippers? They still stink. Eric Bledsoe showed flashes of brilliance today, but even in a rout he came off as a third or fourth wheel on the team. I doubt they'll get their act together this season, and I'll be pretty surprised if they win over 30 games.
As for the Thunder? If they played like this every single game, they would finish 2-80. We need to be able to score to win. And if Durant, Westbrook, or Green isn't playing the part on any given night, then it's highly unlikely someone else can step up and fill their shoes. And hopefully we can fix our problems defensively down low and scoring-wise from the guard spots. Because if we don't, it's going to be a long season.
Next Game: At the Trailblazers, Thursday, November 4th, 9:30 PM Central Standard Time