Aye aye aye. If this were an episode of I Love Lucy, then this would be the point where Ricky would yell at Lucy for some sort of plan she cooked up, and he would eventually get so angry that he would yell at her in Spanish.
Fortunately, this isn't an episode of a 50's sitcom. Unfortunately, this game ended like one.
We just got flat out beat. There, I said it. We bowed down to the Pacers. The game started out with Troy Murphy, Roy Hibbert, and Danny Granger exploiting the Thunder inside. Then, when the Thunder actually got worried about this and tired it up at 22, the Pacers started to exploit the Thunder on the outside, rotating around for open 3s. Whenever we'd tighten up on one aspect, they'd exploit another, and we simply had no answer. Their starting lineup shot 59% plus 20 made free throws out of 23, which is just an insanely high amount.
Meanwhile, the Thunder were just as bad on the offensive end of the floor. They had a solid mid-range game going early on, but their offense was very one-dimensional, allowing the Pacers to see and exploit it. You can only do pick and pops so many times. The Thunder couldn't get inside because Roy Hibbert and Troy Murphy owned the paint. Thus, their rate of success when they actually did decide to drive wasn't very high.
Below: Analysis, Awards
After all of the talk of strategy, the massive amount of turnovers in this game simply can't be ignored. And I'm not talking about turnovers that simply games the other team possession. I'm talking about turnovers that the Pacers immediately turned into points. Eric Maynor and Kevin Durant both had 5 turnovers, most of which came during the critical moments of the game.
Also, one can't ignore the horrible individual performances from our star players. Kevin Durant had an incredible amount of bricks, going 4 of 16 from the field, while Russell Westbrook didn't score at all, going 0-4 from the field. When both of your star players aren't producing, and nobody else is stepping up to fill their holes, you've got a problem on your hands.
Anyway, lets get on to the awards....
Thunder Wonder: Jeff Green, 20 Points, 6-10 Shooting, 6 Rebounds, 3 Assists. Only 4 of his points were in the pointless second half, and he did a solid job of holding his own throughout the game. Not terrific, but solid nonetheless.
Thunder Down Under: Eric Maynor, 15 Points, 7-13 Shooting, 4 Rebounds, 11 Assists, 5 Turnovers, 2 Steals. He had some garbage time minutes, but you've got to give the guy his due. He stepped up in the place of Russell Westbrook, and he delivered the best he could. He had a few of turnovers on the way, but overall his game was solid, especially among the horrible performances of others.
Thunder Blunder: Kevin Durant, 16 Points, 4-16 Shooting, 5 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 5 Turnovers, 2 Steals. I'm not trying to be harsh here, but Kevin Durant's job on the team is to score. He did a horrible job of that yesterday afternoon, especially with all of the turnovers. You could point out his Rebounds and Assists, but all things considered, Jeff Green did the same thing Kevin Durant did tonight without all of the turnovers and missed shots.
Thunder Plunderer: Earl Watson, 11 Points, 8 Assists, 2 Rebounds, 1 Steal. Sure, he had the worst stat line among the starting five, but he really stepped up against his old team, and he had a much better performance than the guy who replaced him at point guard. His future with the NBA is cloudy, but the journey to playing on a successful team starts with a step, and today, Earl Watson took a monster step.
In the end, we've got to put this game behind us and focus on the impending week. Because if we dont, we could be in for the worst losing streak of the season.
Next Game: Versus the Spurs, Monday, March 22nd, 7 PM Central Daylight Time