The Thunder picked a pretty good night to drop a stinker.
With a good number of the fanbase watching football, Oklahoma City played easily its lousiest game of the season in Dallas, picking up the first loss, 100-87 to the Mavs.
A couple things the Thunder have struggled with early in this season but gotten away with finally bit them against the Mavs. Rebounding, halfcourt offense and complete defense.
The Mavs put up 11 offensive boards (nine in the first half though) on the Thunder, OKC shot just 40.3 percent from the floor and Dallas hit 48.8 of their shots. It was a pretty bad game for the Thunder in a lot of ways and while the Mavs aren’t as good as last season’s championship squad, mess around with Dirk and company and you’re going to get burned.
The Thunder’s bench, which is typically a major weapon, was anything but. Daequan Cook was out sick and not having his sharpshooting certainly hurt, but there was just a spark missing in this team tonight. James Harden had to start the second half because Thabo was out with a sore foot, and in his second half start didn’t do well with the first unit as the Thunder dug themselves into a hole during the third quarter. Dallas’s bench scored 47; OKC’s had just 25.
The dream is over. No 66-0. Beating the Mavs in Dallas is a challenge especially with Thursday’s buzzer-beater fresh on their minds, but Dallas played a night before and OKC was well rested. You can’t win every game, but it was disappointing to see the Thunder play this flat and at times, unfocused. They battled to the finish line, getting the Mavs’ lead down to eight with possession but failed to get a good shot and couldn’t get stops on the other end. It happens. The Thunder lost on the road to a good team. Back to work tomorrow.
- Scott Brooks tried a number of lineups. He went went, big, small again and then super small. He tried Westbrook off the ball, Maynor, Westbrook and Harden together, KD at the 4 and even gave Reggie Jackson a chance to do something. I thought for a second he might ask a fan to go in there and see what happens. Nothing really sparked the Thunder tonight, but Brooks certainly tried.
- Vince Carter must’ve been pretty fired up about that 3 he hit against the Thunder last Thursday. Or the officials just felt bad for him. Carter got a bunch of calls, finished with 14 points and in general, was a nuisance to the Thunder.
- I think that Westbrook and KD should hook up on at least one lob a game. It just looks so easy.
- This was one of those games where the Thunder seemed to be scrambling for points at all times. No flow, no rhythm. I’d like to see Durant try and take over a game like this more often. Ball movement and spacing was horrible (only 12 assists for OKC) and the Thunder really had to just rely on somebody hitting shots to get anything done.
- KD did his job for the most part against the Mavs. He wasn’t terrific by any stretch, but after a sluggish start of 1-5 from the floor, he got going. The main bummer for Durant is that he didn’t finish with an assist on the night. He hadn’t had less than three in any game yet this season.
- Westbrook attacked like he’s supposed to. It looks like he’s getting back to form. But the lack of assists is becoming a thing now. He had just three and with the Thunder offense stalling in every way, he’s got to take the responsibility as point guard to get things going.
- Westbrook set Ibaka up for an open jumper five or six times tonight. And Ibaka turned most of them down without even really looking at the rim. Ibaka needs to take a more aggressive mindset in being an actual factor in OKC’s offense rather than just fitting in entirely.
- The minuses across the bench says it all tonight.
- Westbrook had another altercation tonight. WITH THE RIM.
- As you can see, I tried something new out for the postgame recapping with a grades post. We’ll see how that goes.
- Brian Davis Line of the Night: “He looks like the rug dealer in Singapore I tried to bargain with years ago. But I have to feed my family sir!”
Next up: Home against the Blazers Tuesday night.