Last week was the first losing week of the season for the Thunder. Which not so coincidentally, makes it a lot less fun to talk about how players performed. Because, and you’ll never believe this, there’s a direct correlation between player performance and losses.
What surprised me most about the three straight losses is that I expected more panic. There was the regular amount of hand-wringing over Scott Brooks’ decisions and such, but not a crazy amount of doomsday talk. At least not that I saw.
I think maybe the reason for it is the way the Thunder lost. In all three games, they played outstanding defense, but were unable to execute offensively and turned the ball over a little too much. Both things that are not only correctable, but in terms of offense, that hasn’t been a worry with this team all season. What has been the concern is the defensive end, but the Thunder have played consistently well on that end for about three weeks. There have been lapses — like the first half against Indiana — but overall, Oklahoma City’s defense has been better, which in an odd way despite the losses, is encouraging.
Because, as you know, defense is what you must rely on in the postseason. Big offense is nice, but that can come and go. Defense is something you have much more control over. Keep Reading…