Well, two games in and I think it’s fair to say that this Oklahoma City Thunder team will NOT play above expectations.
The Thunder lose to the Houston Rockets, 124-91. This is now two of two for blowout losses. Getting blown out by the Utah Jazz, a Western Conference contender, is one thing. But to the rebuilding Rockets who many project to be a bottom dweller? That’s just a tough pill to swallow.
Anyway, the game was ugly and was decided by halftime. So let’s talk about the individual positives.
Josh Giddey looked a lot more comfortable this game and was more aggressive to get after his shot. The rookie finished with six points and four assists.
Giddey was also more aggressive with his playmaking, as he initiated the offense more often than compared to last game. He only finished with four assists, but there were plenty of other good shots created off of his passes that were simply misses.
lol pic.twitter.com/VJ5g6Kh0go— Boomtown Hoops (@BoomtownHoops) October 23, 2021
Aleksej Pokusevski played much better compared to last game. Poku finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. This included some impressive decision making with the ball, such as his outlet pass to Darius Bazley.
Poku ——————— Baze@aleksejpokusevs | @BazleyDarius pic.twitter.com/x2zVj7cIWM— Boomtown Hoops (@BoomtownHoops) October 23, 2021
For his standards, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander struggled, especially in the first half, tonight.
But overall, this was a better game from him than last game. I wonder how much this has to do with rust and how much it has to do with the fact that teams are putting their full attention on him this season as the Thunder do not have anybody else they should really worry a ton about.
With that said, SGA finished with 13 points on 6-of-15 shooting and showed signs of frustration in the game. It’ll be interesting to see how the franchise player handles losing a ton of games. I’m sure he expected this heading into this season, but actually experiencing it is a whole different level.
Shai visibly frustrated with his & the teams 1st half performance— Thunder Film Room (@ThunderFilmRoom) October 23, 2021
so while everyone sits here complaining over nothing just remember that these guys care more than you do & they want to play well. by the way some people are tweeting I would’ve thought that we were contending. pic.twitter.com/RmdhtrtBvm
It’s only the first two games and SGA hasn’t played competitive basketball in over half a year, so his frustrations and slow play is nothing to be too concerned about yet. This is just something to watch out for in the remaining 80 games.
But yeah, that’s really it. Everything else about this game was forgettable.
Two bad losses and it’s hard to believe most games will go like this, but I think it’s easy to say that this team will have pretty high lottery odds.
Next Game: The Thunder look to win its first game of the season against the Philadelphia 76ers in the home opener on Sunday, Oct. 24.