The Thunder took a loss for the first time at home tonight 112-102 to the Toronto Raptors. As usual in a loss, there are a lot of things the Thunder could’ve done differently. There was also some positive take aways from tonights game, such as Roberson contributing more on offense than usual and the team shooting 90.3% from the free throw line.

Oklahoma City got off to an extremely hot start, but couldn’t manage to hang on to the lead. The team lead 27-20 after an insane team effort in the first quarter. However, it should not have been that close. Poor ball movement and bad rotation on defense caused the Thunder’s lead to be gone by halftime. Oklahoma City did manage to hang around the rest of the game, but they simply couldn’t find their way to the positive side of the scoreboard.

Westbrook Forces Too Many Shots

Russell Westbrook put up an impressive 36 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists against Toronto, but it may have cost this team a bit. Russ was only 9-26 from the floor tonight, which caused a problem with the offensive flow.

On any given night against any given opponent I have no problem with Westbrook taking around 26 shots, as long as those are good looks. He forced to many un-open shots and also took shots beyond his range tonight. All of those bad looks turn into wasted possessions and those add up throughout the course of the game. Westbrook has got to take better shots especially down the stretch in order for the Thunder to win these type of close games.

Defense Struggles

After coming off of an amazing defensive game on Monday, the Thunder seemed to have trouble finding any type of rhythm tonight. Too many Thunder players were found out of position which lead to several back door dunks. The reason behind this is poor rotation. The Thunder have done an amazing job at help defense so far this season, but it was nowhere to be found tonight.

No Need To Panic

The Thunder lost to a very good basketball team tonight. Toronto is arguably the second best team in the Eastern Conference, and they have one of the league’s top defenses as well. The Thunder were in a position to win this game, but couldn’t get the stops on defense. Losses are bound to happen throughout an 82 game season. What’s important is how the team will bounce back Friday against the LA Clippers. I believe Russ will have this team ready to go, so there is no need to panic Thunder fans.

 

Up Next

The Thunder will have a chance to recover from this loss on Friday night as they take on the LA Clippers in Oklahoma City at 7:00 PM CST. The game will be televised on FSOK and broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.

Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.