After pure chaos went down in Denver on Thursday night, all signs pointed to the Thunder lacking energy in game two of their back-to-back. The signs were unfortunately correct, as OKC was absolutely gassed down the stretch last night. It was a classic “schedule loss.”
This was the Thunder’s fourth game in five nights, not to mention their fifth game in a row where they have changed time zones. It wasn’t all bad. In fact the Thunder had a double digit lead in the early going, but it was all downhill from there.
OKC has now lost three in a row, and there’s plenty of concerns with this group since the loss of Andre Roberson a week ago. Their perimeter defense has struggled mightily as we saw in Denver, and as the pressure continues to mount, Sam Presti has to make a move.
Russ blamed turnovers on the loss, but there’s a multitude of places one can point the finger. Blame is neither here nor there at this point, it’s about making adjustments and moving forward, something all NBA teams have do at some point over the 82 game season.
So how can this get better? Let’s talk about Steven Adams. That always helps.
When asked about how he handles opponents earlier in the week, the big Kiwi gave a great response.
“My whole mindset is just to hit them as hard as I can. Really. Because it’s more just a psyche thing. Because no one likes getting hit. I don’t like getting hit. So, you get hit quite hard, then you’ll kind of second guess like, ‘Maybe, I’ll just take a couple steps back.” So, make the job in the long run more easier.
“They all brace,” Adams said. “Everyone always braces, because I come in quite hot when I come in for a defensive box out.”
If that doesn’t put a smile on your face, I’m not sure what will.
“I come in quite hot when I come in for a defensive box out.” Man, Adams is really the best.
His ability on the offensive glass is exceptional, much of which he credits to his disdain for playing defense.
“I don’t want to play defense. It’s so f—ing difficult, mate,” Adams said.
People are finally realizing to not take his skill for granted, but while we’re here, let’s not forget the terrific quotes he gives us on a daily basis.
- Adams finished with 23 and 12 on Friday night for another double-double, often going up against Anthony Davis.
- Russ had 16-11-14 to go along with 9 turnovers. George and Melo added 15 and 13, respectively.
- Westbrook received no suspension or fine for Thursday night’s incident with a fan in Denver.
- Like the Thunder, I think everyone needs a little rest. To the WTLC community, enjoy your Saturday! We’ll see you at the ‘Peake tomorrow afternoon.
A Look Ahead
The Thunder welcome in the Lakers tomorrow afternoon for a Super Bowl Sunday matinee matchup. Lonzo Ball will be out again. He has yet to play against OKC this season.