Well, just when you think the Thunder were actually starting to turn into Supermen, they went and had a game like this. Everybody thought that this game could be a real break out game, especially with Denver under-performing recently. But, the cold hard facts of reality slapped the Thunder in the face. It was the second game of a back to back. The Thunder had to fly back one time zone and deal with an altitude change. The Thunder have no way of stopping the onslaught of Carmelo Anthony. If the other team has more than one scoring threat down low, we have no way of stopping them both. J.R. Smith continues to own us with his "unlimited range". The list of reasons for this loss goes on and on, and really, if you stop and think about it, it's not a huge surprise that we lost.
Every team has games like this. I don't care whether you're the Nets or the Lakers, on the way up or on the way down. It's just a part of life in the NBA. I'm just glad that it happened against the Nuggets, rather than a much more beatable opponent.
As far as recapping this game goes, it was never really that close. It was tied at 8 and 10 early in the first, but the Thunder never lead, and it seemed they were always playing catchup. A 7 point first quarter lead was widened only to 9 by the half, thanks to some foolish goaltending by Chris Andersen. But, when the 3rd Quarter began, the Nuggets slammed the door on the Thunder, going on a 19-5 run before the Thunder finally gave up and took out Durant and Green.
Below: Analysis, Awards
Aside from all of the defensive problems, the Thunder couldn't get any offense going at all. Kevin Durant was productive, but nowhere near his normal level. Russell Westbrook was okay at best. Everybody else was just downright terrible. Ibaka and Harden had lots of Garbage time, but weren't factors in the real game.
Kevin Ollie and Etan Thomas got time tonight. In the end, I'm thankful that I got to see a game with Renaldo Balkman, Johan Petro, Etan Thomas, and Serge Ibaka in it all at once. Lots of rim.
There's not much else to say, so let's get to the awards......
Thunder Wonder: Serge Ibaka, for trying his best throughout the game, and trying to provide defense.
Thunder Down Under: Kevin Ollie, for managing to have a positive Plus/Minus Ratio is this horrible blowout.
Thunder Blunder: The Starting 5. I could narrow it down to one guy, but when you get right down to it, all of these guys failed the team in one way or another. I'm not absolving the bench of blame, but if your starters don't do well, then your whole team doesn't do well. (Wow, that sounded really Grant Longish.)
Thunder Plunderer: Carmelo Anthony, for scoring 30 points in 32 minutes.
Next Game: At the Clippers, Friday, March 5th, 9:30 PM Central Standard Time