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Fourth-quarter woes: the recurring nightmare of Thunder Nation

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The Thunder start fast, but something happens after halftime.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

We’re now several weeks into the Thunder season, and its quite clear that our beloved trio of scorers pertain an issue that could lead to a skewed finish to the 2017-2018 NBA season.

We all know the biggest story that came out of the former offseason: Sam Presti had the summer of his life, beating out any moves made by other GM’s of the league, picking up Paul George and Carmelo Anthony (proving to Russell Westbrook, he means business, and championship contention is on his mind). It didn’t stop there. Mere weeks later, Westbrook would go on to sign a 5-year extension, which would turn out to become the highest paid total contract worth of any in NBA history. At that point, who in their right mind could doubt Presti’s superman summer moves? Here’s an answer—A LOT OF PEOPLE (Go on Twitter, Search Sam Presti / Paul George trade / Carmelo Anthony Trade and you’ll find a good sum of people doubting the fit of three elite super-scorers on one team).

And thus far, as much as us OKC fans hate to admit, THEY were right. Something is going absolutely wrong, and a set of changes have to be made if we hope for success in the playoff bracket. OKC has constantly shown to thrive in first quarter bouts, but fall straight on their butts when it comes time to finishing a game.

The fourth quarter has always been a 12-minute period of stress for OKC, but with the addition of two-elite scorers, an improved bench, and one of the most talented defensive superpowers in the league, something isn’t working. It should be noted however that I have no intention of down-talking OKC’s system so hard that it diminishes the upside of their current build, because in fact there is tons of upside, but its just not being used. In reality, OKC has horrendous luck. This years officiating is just offensive. You’d think with the modern technology and advancement of systems that officials have at their disposal that they’d be able to make decent calls? Unfortunately for the Thunder, that’s absolutely out of their control, and if Donovan wants any amount of success out if this talent-filled “superteam”, its time for some revisions.

Of the Thunder’s 8 losses, 5 involved losing either a sizable lead early or being outplayed in the 4th:

  • Celtics - 4 point lead heading into 4th, after being up 18 at half
  • Denver - tie game heading into 4th
  • Timberwolves - 1 point lead with 5 seconds remaining
  • Spurs - 23 point 1st half lead, tied heading into 4th
  • Kings - 15 point lead after 1st quarter, down 1 at half

Melo to lead the secondary lineup (if Wade got built up the confidence to admit he’d be better leading the bench, I’d hope Melo could). Jerami Grant to the starting lineup, replacing Roberson? More minutes for Alex Abrines? There’s a clear issue to this team, and it’s only a short time before we’re too far into the season wherefore the year can be revived.

Have a suggestion to solve the woes of the Thunder? Leave a comment below, or tweet us at @WTLC or @DavidScottSport with your “OK3” solutions!

Poll

What is the most likely 4th quarter culprit?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Fatigue
    (14 votes)
  • 39%
    Lack of 2nd half adjustments
    (65 votes)
  • 37%
    Inefficient offense
    (63 votes)
  • 10%
    Porous defense
    (17 votes)
  • 4%
    other - write in below
    (7 votes)
166 votes total Vote Now