Carmelo Anthony’s return to the Big Apple probably didn’t go as well as he would have liked. The Thunder were without Steven Adams, Michael Beasley was scoring at will, and Melo was held scoreless in the second half. Probably not what he had in mind. And all of this occurred without Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis.
The stars aligned last night for the Thunder to fall flat, and they did. No Steven Adams was a huge loss for OKC on Saturday, as the Thunder defense was clearly missing out on their star big man.
Paul George struggled to get into a rhythm while Anthony’s midrange jumpers were simply not falling. It was a classic slew of issues for an OKC group that has run into similar problems time and time again.
Melo’s inconsistencies will highlight his return to MSG, as he started the game 3-6 from the field, only to finish 2-12.
Playing 315 minutes of basketball on Friday also reared its head, as the Thunder clearly didn’t have much energy under them.
- Russell Westbrook was more efficient on Saturday, coming off a few tough performances from the field. He finished with 25-7-7 on 9-18 shooting.
- Melo closed out the night with 12 points. He did receive a standing ovation with a tribute video during introductions, but that was followed by occasional boos when the former Knick would get the ball.
- New York was incredibly efficient from the field last night, throwing up a 122.7 rating. They shot 14-23 from beyond the arc.
- I said it before but I’ll say it again, the Thunder simply ran out of steam in New York. No Steven Adams and recovering from a 3OT thriller was a tough combination.
- Paul George had a very quiet first half, but finished the night with 18 points and 9 rebounds. He was 4-9 in the second frame.
- Patrick Patterson had 12 points and was 4-6 from three. His play as of late has impressed, and he’s quickly becoming a bigger part of Billy Donovan’s rotation.
- Paul George probably has a headache right now.
Kyle O’Quinn was given a Flagrant 1 for going full Ron Artest on Paul George. pic.twitter.com/Ow8xpfCRyv— Up The Thunder (@UpTheThunder) December 17, 2017
A Look Ahead
The Thunder will get a much needed day off today before they welcome the Denver Nuggets to town on Monday night.
Steven Adams is currently in the NBA’s concussion protocol, and his status for Monday is unknown.