Nick Collison talked all summer about the biggest step for a young team is simply learning to win. Learning how to make plays, learning how to get stops and just learning how to end up with more points than the other guy in the end.
For the most part this year, this group has started to figure it out. And tonight against the Hornets, the Thunder did the hardest part. They got stops. They just never got the ball the basket when in counted. Oklahoma City made only three field goals in the fourth quarter and scored just 11 points.
But after Russell Westbrook’s AMAZING offensive rebound and putback to cut the New Orleans lead down to 93-92 with 50 seconds left, it just felt like the Thunder was going to find a way again. But they reminded us something that we’ve been prone to forget this year: These guys are young (very young), they’re immature and they’re still learning. I mean, have a look out on the floor during that final series of possessions. Ages for the Thunder: 20, 21, 21, 23, 25.
It was a little ironic that after getting a major stop with 30 seconds left and still down one, OKC didn’t secure the rebound. Essentially, an offensive rebound for the Hornets turned out to be maybe the biggest play of the game because Chris Paul scored later on the extra possession to push the lead to three. But OKC did a fantastic job on the glass tonight, only allowing five offensive boards to the Hornets and outrebounded NOLA by nine for the game. For shame the Thunder couldn’t just grab one more. Keep Reading…