The Thunder dropped another head-scratcher last night, losing to the Jazz 97-90. To be sure, the Jazz have been playing much better basketball of late, who have now won four in a row and seven of their last 10. So it is not that Utah isn't capable of playing solid basketball. Rather, this is essentially the same team with which OKC had no problems earlier this season. In those two back-to-back games on 2/10 and 2/14, the Thunder took away the one thing that the Jazz do well - play strong around the rim. Utah does not have the shooters to compensate for losing this facet.
Despite knowing this first hand, the Thunder looked like they had no idea what Utah was trying to do last night. Both Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins fell for pump fakes time and time again, which led to easy shots at the rim and 50 points in the paint overall. Defensively, the Jazz are not a good team. They protect the rim, but they are not particularly quick on the perimeter. Even so, the Thunder made things far too easy for Utah, settling for jump shots when better shots could be had. As a result, OKC was held to 13 points below their season average.