The Thunder opened tonight’s game firing on all cylinders. It looked like this team had made the necessary adjustments after the two previous losses. However, after the Thunder gave their best shot, the Jazz would not go away. Oklahoma City tried bullying their way into this one, but Utah wasn’t having it. The Thunder completely lost composure in the second half, and the Jazz coasted to an easy victory in game four.
The Thunder rolled early in the first quarter, but after much back and forth the Jazz quickly caught up. The Utah crowd did an amazing job at keeping this team in the game, and it ultimately hurt the Thunder. Oklahoma City simply wasn’t playing well, and Utah seemingly made everything they threw in the air. The Jazz finished the half on a 29-14 run.
I expected the thunder to come out in the second half looking to put this thing away. However, it was Utah that came out and put the Thunder away. After the the third quarter this one was pretty much over. The Thunder completely lost composure. It looked like a college basketball team going into a hostile environment. The body language of the Thunder said everything that needed to be said. The Jazz cruised to an easy win tonight, and they will be well rested for Wednesday nights game.
3 Quick Thoughts
- Russell Westbrook is Getting Outplayed.
Ricky Rubio had a terrible first game in this series. Since then, he has absolutely dominated the Thunder. Tonight, it wasn’t his stats that destroyed OKC, it was his mental advantage over Russell Westbrook.
Its like Russ went back in time in his career. He no longer looks like the most mentally tough player on the court. Rubio has his number, he has control of his mind, and he is beating the Thunder because of it.
- Carmelo Anthony Played Too Many Minutes.
Carmelo Anthony is not to be blamed for the Thunder’s struggles in this series. Although he hasn’t played well, it definitely isn’t his fault the Thunder have been on the wrong side of the scoreboard.
That being said, there’s no reason why Melo should have played more minutes than anyone tonight. Yes, you read that right. Carmelo Anthony played more minutes than any Thunder player in tonight’s loss. That’s unacceptable, and it’s all on Billy Donovan’s shoulders.
- Game 5 Will Be Insane.
The Thunder have a ton of work to do if they want to win this series. However, it’s not impossible. The last three games of this series have been major let downs. Regardless of the results, the Thunder fans will show up Wednesday night.
I also believe we will see a new version of this Thunder team. We will see a team fighting for survival. As nice as that sounds, it may be too little too late. It definitely would’ve been nice to see this team come out and fight like that all series long.
Game five will take place in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night. The game will start at 8:30 PM CST. The game will be televised on FSOK and NBATV. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
This goes without saying, but game five is a must win for the Thunder. A win in game five would give them the chance to steal a win on the road to bring the series back to Oklahoma City for one more game. It’s definitely a long shot, but the Thunder is capable. Only eleven teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit. However, this team has the talent to do it.
Article written by Craig Hofeld. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter and Instagram.