Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost against the Denver Nuggets, 105-98 the final score.
That it wasn’t the right night for the Thunder you could have seen it from the first minutes of the game. Oklahoma City generated good looks on offense but wasn’t able to convert anything while on defense, they weren’t able to stop anyone. The Nuggets gained a ten points lead after the first quarter, just to increase it to twenty-one points at halftime.
However, this team, this year, never gives up and fought its way back in. In the third quarter, still with a struggling offense, the Thunder were able to tighten up on defense and allowed the Nuggets to score only sixteen points. Oklahoma City kept pushing and came as close as a five points deficit with one minute and a half left on the clock. Unfortunately, the Thunder didn’t have enough energy to close the comeback, and the Nuggets won a really important game on the road.
Russell Westbrook, bad night
This has been probably the worst game of the season for Russell Westbrook. If in the first half the whole team struggled to finish on offense, Westbrook kept on taking questionable shots the whole second half, while maybe sharing more the ball with his teammates could have created something better, especially with the team trying to complete a comeback. Westbrook took twelve threes, and he made only one. Three-pointers weren’t the only issue, Russell didn’t have patience on offense, and his defense has been lazy. Overall, just a bad night.
This was the third game in four night for the Thunder, and it looked obvious, from the tip-off, that the legs weren’t there. Oklahoma City generated good looks in the first half, they were just missing everything from basically everywhere. The final shooting stats are as bad as you can imagine: 35% from the floor, 23% from behind the arc, 65% from the free throw line. It’s barely impossible to win a game with this type of shooting night, the Thunder tried everything in the second half, but fall short.
This is the main Thunder’s weapon this season. The offense might struggle from time to time, but Oklahoma City’s defense is what helped this team to win games this season. During the first half the Thunder didn’t play well on that end of the floor, and with all the problems on offense, the Nuggets took advantage of it. In the second half, with the offense stills cold, the defense brought the Thunder back in the game, stop after stop, rebound after rebound.
Burton keeps shining
Another game and another impressive performance for Deonte Burton. Once again he played better than Patterson and TLC providing more defense and especially more offense. He is not afraid to attack the basket, to shoot, or to hustle on defense. He finished the game with eight points (4-6 FG), two rebounds, and one steal. With Patterson unable to be a factor on either side of the floor, Donovan should try to play the rookie more minutes to see how much he can be effective.
The Thunder will have three days without games, and this is a very good news after an intense week of basketball. The players will have time to rest, to practice, and to regroup before playing twice at home against two below average teams like the Cavaliers and the Hawks.
The Oklahoma City Thunder will play on Wednesday night at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Tip-off 7 pm CT.