The Thunder faced Memphis off the back of a massive victory against the Lakers. The Thunder was excellent against LA, and the positivity of that win should have carried into the game against Memphis. The opposite occurred; Oklahoma City lacked intensity, and the Grizzlies took advantage.
The Thunder did well in the first quarter, but it was all Grizzlies after that. Ja Morant dazzled for the Grizzlies as he notched 19 points and 9 assists. Chris Paul led the way for the Thunder with 17 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds.
The Grizzlies beat the Thunder to loose balls and secured a lot of rebounds. There were a lot of moments during that game where Oklahoma City could have been much better defensively. Memphis are a good team, but there is no way that the Thunder should be giving up 121 points to the Grizzlies. The defense was shocking.
The Thunder were not much better offensively. Oklahoma City kept on heaving up shots from deep, and the ball kept on rimming out. It was frustrating to watch as the Thunder are capable of being better than that.
I was disgusted by the Thunder’s performance. There seemed to be very little desire from the team to play intense, gritty defense. Morant and Brooks got too many natural looks for my liking.
It is the first time in a long time where I have questioned the coaching staff. Billy made poor decisions tonight. This was a game for the taking, but Coach Donovan chose to mess around with his rotations. I struggle to understand why Gallinari only played 19 minutes when he is one of the Thunder’s leads options.
The Thunder will have an excellent chance to get back in the win column on Sunday against the Washington Wizards. A win against the Wizards should be no trouble for the Thunder if they play with the right intensity level.