The Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Houston Rockets, 122-112. The Thunder, looking to reestablish themselves as a serious playoff team while halting the Rockets win streak, accomplished neither. In a scene that has become all too common of late, the defense failed to deter any aspect of the Rockets’ offense, while their own was a mixture of rushed shots, bad turnovers, and a no-show by Paul George for much of the night. The net result is not only a loss, but OKC is dancing on the edge of a knife, technically still in the playoff seedings, but bearing no semblance of a team that belongs.
In the span of about a week, OKC has improbably gone from challenging for the 3rd seed to possibly having to play the chase against 6 other teams in a stronger position than they.
There’s really nothing worth breaking down in this game. The Rockets looked like the Rockets look, shooting over 50% in both threes and overall, and because they got into the 4th quarter bonus early, shot 29 free throws, which contributed to 25 of their 35 points in the quarter, thus rendering any comeback attempt moot.
Rockets fans deservedly have their moment of enjoyment and the likely future league MVP is leading the way. Meanwhile, Westbrook continues to bear little semblance to the MVP form he sported a year ago. And unfortunately, Thunder fans know the truth — we haven’t see them play a good game in a month when they beat the Warriors. Since then, it has been a mixture of what we just witnessed — sub-optimal everything, more bad than good.
As several put it in social media, this is the stretch where playoff teams are rounding into their best form. OKC more resembles the team we saw in the first month of action where they were trying to simply reach .500.
That...will not be good enough.