The Oklahoma City Thunder are 0-3, and it’s time to burn it to the ground start the rebuild and trade/fire everyone. If you ask Twitter that is welcome to Overreaction season.
For the four zero five, the center of their universe has been missing for the entire pre-season and also the first two games of the season. The first two games saw the Thunder fall to the defending champions in the Golden State Warriors 100-108 and then they would go on to lose to the new era Los Angeles Clippers 108-92 in the city of angels. There were positive things to take away from the Thunder’s two losses. The play of new additions in Dennis Schroder and Nerlens Noel were two especially with the return of Russell Westbrook imminent the Thunder’s bench would seem to have some weapons that haven’t been seen from that area of the squad in quite some time. Maybe the most significant positive coming from the first two games was the play of rookie Hamidou Diallo who for the #ThunderUp community on social media has been like that new iPhone you got on Christmas day. Unfortunately for second-year player Terence Ferguson, he is like last years model of the iPhone that you throw in your top draw that either turns into a hand me down or gets forgotten about until the new one breaks or is seen to have its own set of flaws.
For now, Diallo is playing with flair and assertiveness that give Thunder fans reason to be excited about with dunks and second efforts resembling a certain superhero that wears the iconic number zero. The excitement seems to be coming at a cost though, and that cost is Ferguson and his development which appears to be at a critical point in his career, and that is being felt and acknowledged by his fellow teammates in particular Paul George. George has been seen paying close attention to Ferguson around the locker room in the way of an arm around the second year rookie along with some encouragement to try and keep his head and confidence up. The Thunder would return home to the four zero five for the first time this season to take on the Sacramento Kings, and there was a sense this was the start of the season Thunder, and that’s because their axis was back in Russell Westbrook who was returning from knee surgery six weeks ago. Westbrook would look like well Russell Westbrook, unfortunately, the Thunder looked like the Thunder of the past two games. Cue panic.
Westbrook was back, and yet the Thunder would still fall to the Kings 120-131 even with Westbrook scoring 32 points, 12 rebounds and, eight assists in his first game back. The Thunder would have an inconsistent night on defense to go along with a disastrous night from behind the arc and the charity spot. The Thunder would go on to shoot a woeful 23.1 percent from three-point range and a miserable 63.3 percent from the free-throw line. On defense, the Thunder had no consistency it was either locked down defense for two minutes, and then they would let the floodgates open and the Kings made the Thunder pay a hefty tax for their inconsistencies especially Iman Shumpert who shot 69.2 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from three on 13 and seven shots respectively.
For the first time in the Oklahoma City Thunder history, they are 0-3. Winless, inconsistent and can’t shoot but what they do have is time not much of it, but they have time. It’s October, and we just finished the first week of the season and for the Thunder, they have their lesser finally back on the court looking like nothing was different and wasn’t six weeks removed from laying on a doctors table being cut open. It’s too early to ask for Coach Billy Donovan’s head to be figuratively posted on your timeline by a Bleacher Report or ESPN saying the Oklahoma City Thunder have fired Billy Donovan and have made the hire of Coach X. It’s too early to bench Terence Ferguson and Patrick Patterson for Jerami Grant and Hamidou Diallo. It’s not too early to sit down take a breath and let the Thunder find their way in the dark though. Let Westbrook and George refind their connection and let Westbrook and Schroder discover theirs. Let Steven Adams do whatever it is Steven Adams does? Like, shake the hand of an imaginary people or ghost of former teammates? Just breathe ok? If the Thunder are 8-12 again by 20 games, then we can start having some serious conversations about actions that need to be made but for now, breathe, go on YouTube and watch Thunder highlights from a more fun time to get you through or hell go outside and find something to smile about.
It’s going to take time, be patient.