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Thunder Views: Three straight losses and WHERE’S THE PANIC BUTTON

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Is it actually time to panic in OKC?

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

I’m not pressing that button just yet, but I’m extremely close.

With last night’s loss, the Thunder slid down to sixth in the Western Conference. Seeds 5 through 8 (Minnesota, OKC, New Orleans, and Utah) are now all tied in the loss column. The Timberwolves and Thunder remain a half-game up on the Pelicans and Jazz.

Friday was the Thunder’s third consecutive loss. A losing streak is never ideal, but with less than ten games remaining in the chaotic West, it becomes even more dire.

OKC hit a franchise-record 20 three-pointers on Friday night, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done against the playoff-hungry Nuggets.

Billy Donovan went with Carmelo Anthony over Jerami Grant for the overtime, while Grant was having a solid bounce back game. He finished with 16 points in 24 minutes, and even though he was denied by Mason Plumlee in the closing seconds of regulation, I would’ve liked to see Donovan stick with him, rather than Melo’s lackluster defense.

Spotlight

I’ve focused on it before and I’m about to do it again.

FREE THROWS.

There isn’t much to elaborate on here, but when a team is mightily struggling in one category, it’s definitely worth noting.

The Thunder were 15/27 from the line on Friday, in a game that they lost by 1 point. Shooting at a 55.7% clip from the charity stripe is not something that should be occurring on a consistent basis.

Quick Rumbles

  • Paul George finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds. He’s been relatively quiet over the last month when the Thunder need him.
  • OKC lost the battle on the glass 58-50.
  • OKC’s interior defense struggled last night, as they gave up 68 points in the paint.
  • Here’s one bright spot:
  • The Thunder bench was solid on Friday, as everyone except for Terrance Ferguson finished with a positive net rating. This comes just one night after the bench unit finished with a collective negative rating.
  • Melo had 23 and 9, but still lacked any major impact, especially on the defensive end.

A Look Ahead

Welp, Sunday is very important for the Thunder’s playoff hopes. They face off against the Pelicans in New Orleans at 5:00 CT.

Here’s you current playoff picture: