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OKC Thunder Talk Therapy

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Sit down. Inhale. Exhale. Let’s just talk about it.

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

If you spend too much time swimming in the wild west deceivingly named something as harmless as “Thunder Twitter,” it is in flames. These are silent flames, fueled endlessly by dramatic, sensationalized posts bred in the midst of panic.

It’s scary.

Sometimes all you need is to get it out. There are reasons for this unsightly skid floating all over the internet, and they are all true, in part. There is likely an ugly hodge-podge of factors contributing to this downward slide, and sometimes naming the problems in a stress-free, organized fashion helps our brains sit with them a bit better.

Below is your stats-free, open discussion of the several issues going on. Let’s leave the stats and analyzing at home and just chat.

What’s going on?

1) That cursed yellow blowhard masquerading as a helpful promotion

Do you think we don’t see you, Love’s patch? How can we not see you? You’re the size of an F-350 and twice as unnecessary. Ever since you showed up, this whole thing has been messed up. It isn’t rational to blame this all on you, but neither is a team with 2 MVP-caliber players playing this way.

2) Bad luck

Luck is a real thing, and luck is a cruel mistress. The team has been missing shots they’ve been making all season, and that’s fine. Well, it’s not fine, but it happens. It’s built into the recipe for every team.

3) Effort

Our defense has been solid, all things considered. Our offense has been just unbelievably horrible. Part of this, as mentioned above, is just horrible luck. But once luck makes its bed, panic sets in. When you play panicked, you make horrible decisions. The team needs to relax and play the way they know how. “Effort” in this sense doesn’t mean play harder so much as it means making the effort to play smarter.

4) PG’s Shoulder

Listen...The man has a tweaked shoulder. Many of you, I’m sure, have played a sport at less than 100% health. Maybe you sprained your ankle a week or two ago or have some ongoing tightness in your back. If that’s the case, you are constantly aware of it and you change how you play to minimize the risk of agitating that pain. You don’t play like you normally would: comfortable, confident and like you’ve prepared. PG’s percentages are down, but there’s no reason to believe they will stay that way.

5) Competition

Perhaps the most painful of all is accepting that the Thunder had a pretty easy schedule to start the year, and the most difficult schedule to end the year. It sucks, because realizing this forces one to understand that maybe the team was playing 3-5 wins above it’s talent. I hate that, too.

Conclusion

There are lots of little things going on with the Thunder right now, and the good news is that none of them are permanent. These are all things that ebb and flow over the course of a season, and we are in the middle of a particularly unkind trough right now.

If we can stay out of the 8 seed, things could be just fine. It would take some sort of miracle for the Thunder to not make the playoffs, so let’s save the panic for then. It sucks, but the only thing we’ve lost so far is bragging rights to the 3rd seed, which isn’t really worth all that much.

Remain measured, remain grounded, and don’t listen to drama.