The Thunder lost a tough one in Memphis tonight 114-80 which snapped a 4 game win streak. Oklahoma City seemed to never be able to get things going on offense, and struggled to gets stops when necessary on defense. The team had a season low 9 assists, which explains the season low 80 points scored. It seemed as if the Thunder came out flat tonight. It’s hard to win on the road against a playoff opponent when you don’t come out and bring it from the start. The veterans for the Grizzlies didn’t let off the gas, and put the Thunder away late in the third quarter.
The Thunder definitely had a rough night, but there were some positive take aways from the game. Alex Abrines continued to contribute offensively tonight as he scored 10 points with two makes from beyond the arc. He has been a huge part of the Thunder’s recent success, and will be needed against the Clippers on Saturday. Enes Kanter also had a good night with 19 points on 7-11 from the field. Kanter continues to show his worth to this team by being the core of the bench.
In the mix of all the things that went wrong, there were a few things that stood out the most. The offense was more than just bad at shooting, they also had trouble moving the ball around. The team finished with 18 turnovers, which could be the reason why the offense was so stagnant. Russell Westbrook is the general on the floor for this team and he was never able to get the ball moving tonight.
Throughout the course of the entire game I also felt as if there was a lack of intensity and effort from this Thunder team. The Grizzlies came out on fire after struggling the last few games, and Oklahoma City was not able to match that. The team seemed to be worn out from this road trip, which is fair. However, this team must find a way to push through that as there are only 3 home games in the month of January.
A lot of things were bad tonight, but some things were just flat out ugly. The Thunder shot a terrible 34% from the floor and only 18% from beyond the arc. The offense was struggling to get anything going right from the start. The lack of ball movement caused the offense to become stagnant, making it hard for anyone to get an open look.
Russell Westbrook was able to somewhat keep the Thunder in the game with his scoring, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with the offense of the Grizzlies. Oklahoma City hung around until Westbrook was ejected early in the third quarter due to receiving back-to-back technical fouls. The second tech could have been an arguable call, but the bottom line is Westbrook has to handle himself better. He is only 6 technical fouls away from facing a one game suspension, which is seeming inevitable right now.
Home For New Years Eve
The Thunder will be back in action next when they take on the LA Clippers at the Peake on Saturday night for New Years Eve. The game will start at 7:00 PM CST and will be televised on FSOK. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.