Oklahoma City came back from 19 points down to lead by as many as 13, only to fall for the third straight game, this time to the Denver Nuggets 131-126.
Here are four things that stuck out to me on Thanksgiving’s eve.
OKC’s Horrendous Start
OKC hasn’t looked great in their previous handful of games, especially on the defensive end of the floor. That same narrative continued after they allowed 12-20 hooting (60% from the Denver Nuggets and couldn’t hit a shot themselves, shooting just 33%.
Strokin’ Joe Sparks OKC
An unlikely character that jump-started OKC’s 19-point comeback was Isaiah Joe. Who came in during the second quarter and lit the Denver Nuggets up with 12 points on a perfect 4-4 from three. Not to mention, Joe made impressive defensive plays, including taking a charge on two-time MVP Nikola Jokic.
Defense is a Major Issue
We thought it was a defensive slump, but OKC’s defense is a problem, not a good type of problem. It’s bad after looking promising to start the season. After their loss to Denver, they’ve given up 110+ points in nine-straight games and 120+ points in six-straight. It doesn’t matter how good OKC’s offense is if they can’t stop a parked car.
Jalen Williams, Doin’ What’s Needed
It’s hard to predict the type of player Jalen Williams will turn into. I have my theories, but that isn’t important. Right now? During his rookie season? He does whatever the Thunder needs him to do and takes care of business. Against the Nuggets, they needed offense, and he delivered, tying his career-high with 16 points on 4-9 shooting.