The Oklahoma City Thunder dropped a big game 120-98 to the Clippers tonight in Los Angeles. The Clippers came out looking for revenge after the Thunder dominated the last time these teams met on New Years Eve. The game went back and forth for the first few minutes, but then the Clippers found their way to the plus side of the scoreboard and never looked back. Oklahoma City had their moments, but it was overall a pretty rough night. The passing for the Thunder was very sloppy, which led to tough shots and 15 turnovers. The game was essentially over before the fourth quarter started, so Billy Donovan decided to rest the legs of the starters for the remainder of the game.
Steven Adams Is Greatly Missed
If you watched any portion of this game it wasn’t hard to tell that the Thunder were missing a key player to their team. Steven Adams sat out tonight due to being in the NBA’s concussion protocol, and it hurt the Thunder in a big way. Oklahoma City struggled to find a rhythm on offense without Adams’ presence on the court. It seemed as if the team was not able to adjust the rotation on either offense or defense.
The offense seemed very stagnant at times, and not having a major scoring threat inside the paint allowed the Clippers defenders to close out better on perimeter shooters. As for the Thunder defense, the Clippers were able to live in the paint and do just about anything they wanted. Hopefully the day off will allow the Thunder to make adjustments before facing the Warriors. Oklahoma City will need to make huge improvements on both sides of the ball to stand a chance against Golden State.
No Excuses for this Performance
It was a bit expected that the Thunder would have some troubles without their starting center, but I don’t think anyone saw this performance coming. I don’t want to say that there was a lack of effort tonight, but the Thunder definitely lacked the energy that they normally bring to games. The Clippers were the more aggressive and energetic team, and the scoreboard reflected that.
Oklahoma City was on the second night of a back to back, but that is no excuse for not showing up to play. If the Thunder want to compete with the top teams in the league they gotta start showing a bit more energy in these tough games. The Thunder are more than capable of winning games like this. I expect the team to bounce back strong on Wednesday night.
The Thunder will be back in action next on Wednesday night as they travel to Golden State to take on the Warriors. The game will start at 9:30 PM CST, and will be televised on ESPN and 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.