Last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder lost badly in Indiana against the Pacers, 85-111 the final score.
Here are the five facts about last night’s loss against Indiana:
Thunder’s offense looked like a horror movie against the Pacers. OKC shot badly from the floor (35.8%), and even worse from behind the arc (24.0%). The Thunder are for the first time without a real offensive threat (Kd before, Westbrook and PG after) who can score twenty points any given night, and they might be for a while. Nights like yesterday will happen often this season, especially for this reason. SGA is the future, but he is still too raw to carry the whole offense, while Chris Paul doesn’t look interested in scoring, and Gallinari has ups and downs.
It was just until a few days ago that OKC was playing magnificent defense, but it all fall out of a cliff in the past couple of games. Yesterday, for long stretches, the Pacers were able to score at will (T.J. Warren anyone?). The Thunder did a good job by keeping Indiana away from the FT line (only thirteen attempts), but couldn’t stop the scoring in the paint (fifty-four total points) and from mid-range (twenty-four points). This was the third game in four nights, tiredness is also a factor to keep in consideration for this poor performance.
3RD QUARTERS STRUGGLES
This is how the Thunder are ranked in net rating per quarter so far this season:
1st quarter: +6.9 ranked 8th
2nd quarter: +12.8 ranked 5th
3rd quarter: -19.5 ranked 27th
4th quarter: -2.8 ranked 19th
Oklahoma City has a problem with third-quarters. Why? That’s a question Billy Donovan should answer. However, I am not sure he has one for that big drop from the second to the third quarter. One thing is sure, the Thunder should try to fix it, even though winning games isn’t the main goal of the season.
IS BURTON AN OPTION?
With the absence of Terrence Ferguson, Billy Donovan played Deonte Burton for some meaningful minutes. The second-year forward scored thirteen points (5-12 FG, 3-6 3PT), three rebounds, one assist, one turnover. Burton is never afraid to get involved on offense, and he is an Ok defender (based on last year’s production). He needs to get more minutes and more game time to get a constant rhythm. Billy should give him a real chance to play in the upcoming games, there is nothing to lose anyway.